To start off your at-home manicure, remove any old nail polish with a cotton ball and an acetone free nail polish remover. Using a nail polish remover with acetone too often will weaken and damage your nails.
Once you have removed your old polish, trim your nails until only a small amount of the white tip is visible. File the nail into a smooth, rounded shape by dragging the file across the nail rather than pushing. Using too much force with the file can cause the nail to weaken or break.
Next, it is necessary to buff your nails. Buffing the surface of the nail will even out any ridges, leaving a smooth surface for the polish. At this time, you will want to wash your hands to remove any dust from filing and buffing.
Once your hands are dry, apply a cuticle cream to the edge of the nail bed. Use an orange stick (cuticle pusher) to push the cuticle back gently. Remove excess cream with a tissue in the same direction that you pushed.
Finally, massage a lotion into your hands and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Once you have prepped your nails you need to choose a polish colour, which can be a very tough decision! Here are a few suggestions from timeless tints to current colours.
Shades of pink and red have always been go-to colours for daily wear, however, coral can also be added to that colour pallet. How about trying a translucent flirty pink such as Cabi-o-lait, by Essie or a creamy coral-red hue, Escapades, also by Essie.
Two of the most current trends are neutrals and shatter topcoats. At first sight by OPI is a neutral taupe shade that matches every outfit perfectly. Take your polish from day to night by adding a black shatter topcoat.
Try using Essie all in one base coat, which is a base coat and topcoat in one for normal nails.
Before applying coloured polish, be sure to cover your nails with a basecoat or hardener. This will serve as a primer for the polish, which will keep the colour pigment from staining the nail as well as helping it last longer.
Once the primer has dried, shake the polish well before you begin to apply it. As you remove the brush from the bottle, swirl it around the top inside rim to remove any excess polish.
Now you can slowly begin to paint each nail. Place the brush in the centre of the nail, angle the brush forward and push down gently to create a fan like effect with the brush. Drag the brush down the centre of the nail. Repeat this step twice, once on each side of the initial middle swipe.
Wait 10 to 15 minutes for the polish to dry before applying the second coat. Applying the second coat without allowing the first coat to set will result in smudging the first coat.
If you happen to get a bit of polish on your finger, there are two ways of removing it. If the polish is still wet, use a flat toothpick to wipe it away. If it is dry, dip a Q-tip in nail polish remover and gently rub the polish off your finger – be careful not to touch the freshly painted nail!
Finish off your polish by adding a clear topcoat. A topcoat will give your nails a smooth and scratch free finish while adding a touch of glossy shine.