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13 Tips For The Perfect Manicure

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Posted on November 12 2018

Doing your manicures at home can save you time and money. Follow these tips and tricks and your nails will look like you just stepped out of the salon every single time!

#1: WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST

You want to rid your nails of any oil and dirt because this will prevent the polish from adhering properly. Use polish remover before applying the base coat and then wash your hands with soap and water to get rid of any remaining dirt and oil.

#2: FILE YOUR NAILS IN ONE DIRECTION

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. You want to avoid filing your nails back and forth because this makes them more prone to splitting and breakage. Gently run your file in one direction, beginning at the outer edges and pulling towards the center.

#3: BUFF YOUR NAILS

According to Essie Global lead educator, Rita Remark, buffing your nails is like brushing your teeth. It makes the nails look more youthful and gets rid of ridges. If you don’t buff your nails, then the natural oils will build, making it more difficult for the polish to adhere to the nail.

#4: EXFOLIATE YOUR NAILS

Cuticle removers act like an exfoliating treatment for your nail beds. Start by massaging a cuticle treatment into your cuticles and gently push them back with an orange wood stick. Doing this helps get the cuticle off the nail plate, as well as remove any dead skin cells.

#5: ALWAYS APPLY A BASE COAT

Most people skip this step, but it’s important to apply a base coat because it protects your nails from stains, fills in ridges, and keeps your nails strong. Applying a base coat also creates a smooth surface for the polish, which will make your manicure less likely to chip.

#6: USE A SPECIAL BASE COAT FOR GLITTER POLISH

Did you know there are different types of base coats? For glitter polish, you’ll want to use a peel-off one that removes tough textures like glitter. This will help make the removal process a lot easier.

#7: APPLY POLISH IN THIN LAYERS

The “proper” technique to applying polish is to do one stripe down the middle and one on each side. Repeat the process until you get your desired opacity. The thicker you apply your nail polish, the longer it takes to dry. According to Nails Inc. founder Thea Green, “the key is to load just enough polish on the brush to cover the nail in one coat.”

#8: LET ONE COAT COMPLETELY DRY BEFORE APPLYING ANOTHER

You need to give the solvents in your polish enough time to evaporate. That being said, a couple of minutes is not enough time. The longer you wait between coats, the more it’ll keep your color locked in.

#9: USE A TOP COAT

Top coats help seal the polish and add shine for the perfect finish. If you don’t use one, your polish won’t last as long. Like base coats, there are a variety of top coats, from matte finishes to quick-dry formulas.

#10: SEAL THE FREE EDGE

Polish often starts chipping at the tip of the nails. When you seal the edge of the nail, it acts like plastic wrap for the polish on that area. Run a horizontal swipe of top coat over the edge of the nail after you apply your last coat of polish. Allow it to dry and add another coat.

#11: CLEAN YOUR CUTICLES

After applying your top coat, dip a thin clean up brush (or a pointed cotton swab) in polish remover and carefully clean up the edges of the nail to remove any excess polish.

#12: MOISTURIZE BETWEEN POLISH CHANGES

According to celebrity manicurist Skyy Hadley, it’s important to keep your nails and cuticles hydrated, especially when you’re using your hands a lot. She recommends applying cuticle oil to your nails and cuticles every other day to help moisturize and prevent chipping and splitting.

#13: DO NOT PEEL GEL POLISH

When you peel off gel polish, you’re also removing layers of your nail with it, which could cause long-term damage (depending on how often you wear gel polish). It’s important to use proper removal techniques. First, file the top layer of polish off but don’t go all the way down to the actual nail. Then, soak a cotton ball in pure acetone and place over your nail, wrapping foil around the cotton ball and your finger. Let your nails soak 10-15 minutes and then use an orange wood stick to push the excess polish off.

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