There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from nailing your own manicure, and if you’ve been struggling with messy manis that don’t last, follow these easy steps!
A DIY manicure or pedicure can be a great “me-time” way to recharge, relieve stress and feel better about yourself. Taking an hour to do your nails can seem a bit much when you’ve barely got four hours to relax at the end of the day, but it’s well worth the time if you can spare it. Of course, not everyone has the patience to find such an effort relaxing. For anyone else looking to perfect their own manicures, here are the tools you’re going to need.
Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads
Always start by cleaning your nails with some nail polish remover pads. A remover helps rid your nails of both excess oils which can shorten the lifespan of your manicure, as well as residual nail polish from your last manicure.
Brushworks 6-Way Nail Buffer
No matter how long it’s been since your last manicure, don’t we’ll prefer to clip or at least file my nails before painting again. We’ve noticed that this helps your manicure last longer and look neater, though this may well be due to a placebo effect than anything else. Once they’re clipped, file them into shape and gently buff away any prominent ridges that might show through your manicure. Don’t bother with the shine side of the buffer as shiny and slippery nails don’t hold polish as well.
Dr. Hauschka Neem Nail & Cuticle Oil
Apply some cuticle oil to your cuticles, and soak your fingers for a couple of minutes to soften your cuticles and any dead skin cells or dirt.
Brushworks Crystal Cuticle Sticks
Gently push your cuticles back with these sticks, and buff away any dead skin and dirt. We sometimes prefer to use a nice hand scrub at this point, but a quick soak and brushing will do as well.
Sephora Collection Base Coat
You’ll want to start with a base coat, always. It not only keeps your nail polish on longer, it also helps protect your nails from yellowing as easily, and some base coats have nourishing or strengthening properties which your nails could benefit from. Once your base coat is on, let it dry for a couple of minutes.
OPI Shine Bright Collection Nail Polish
The polish is the trickiest bit for most people, but quite honestly, half the battle is won with a good brush. We prefer nail polishes that come with wider flat bristles instead of a skinny brush, as you cover more surface area in fewer strokes. The golden number is three when it comes to painting on the polish: One stripe down the middle, followed by one on either side.
In order not to get polish all over your cuticles, you’ll want to make sure there isn’t too much product on the brush to begin with, and start your brush a couple of millimetres away from your cuticle. Instead of simply painting outward, slide the brush close to your nail bed without touching it to create a starting point, and then paint outward from there.
Ciate London Perfect Paint Job Corrector Pen
Clean up mistakes as you go. While you can do the final tidy-up at the end, removing polish that gets on the skin around your nails as you go can make the removal process a lot faster. We suggest either use a disposable orange stick or a toothpick for cleaning up the edge of the nail polish. After you’re done with two coats on all ten nails, consider going back in to clean up the edges with a corrector pen.
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
Get your nails dry as quickly as possible. A quick dry topcoat is a must-have, and we don’t think we’d ever paint our nails without one as we’re simply too impatient to wait the extra hour or two it would take to dry your nails without one. We recommend the trusty Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat; while the product dries up in the bottle and becomes more difficult to work with after a few months, it’s not too expensive to repurchase. Another quick dry tip? Dipping your fingertips into a bowl of ice water can “freeze” the polish into position. You should still give it a good half hour to an hour before you go digging around your handbag though.