While it’s nice to go to the salon for an all-out pamper session every now and again, you can save yourself the trip and whole lot of money by giving yourself a manicure in the comfort of your own home. While you need to have a little time on your hands (no pun intended!), taking care of your nails isn’t as difficult as you might think. To help you get started, I’ve put together a list of 8 steps to an awesome DIY manicure.
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Using some cotton balls and nail-polish remover, gently wipe off the varnish you’re wearing. Go for an acetone-free product; this won’t dry out your nails, or cause them to become fragile and brittle.
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Once you’ve gotten rid of the old chipped polish, use a pair of salon clippers and a nail file to shape your nails into the style you’re after. Remember to file from the edges to the centre, and to make sure that all of your strokes go in the same direction: a back and forth filing motion can cause nails to weaken and break.
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Fill a big basin with warm water and add a dash of lemon juice. The citric acid will act as a natural nail bleach and the warmth of the water will serve to soften your cuticles. Some people like to add a soap-based product to as well, but I find this dries out my hands and makes them uncomfortable.
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Apply a smidge of good quality cuticle cream to every one of your nail beds and then gently massage until it has completely sunk in. If you haven’t got a store-bought cuticle product, you can use olive oil instead; it’s little greasy but it works fairly well.
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Gently push the encroaching skin of your nail bed back with a cuticle stick (traditionally, but not always, made of orangewood). Try to achieve a uniform look that is consistent on every finger.
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Once your cuticles are looking organised, massage your hands and wrists thoroughly using a good lotion. Work in small, circular motions to stimulate circulation and pay extra attention to rough patches or callouses.
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After carefully wiping the lotion off the surface of your nails, apply a clear base coat to every one. This acts as a barrier between your nail and the colour you’re about to put on and will help to prevent staining.
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Starting at the side of each nail, apply your favourite colour is careful, even strokes. Take care to wipe excess nail polish off of the brush to avoid an unfortunate ‘blob’ situation, and allow a full ten minutes or so for the paint to dry. Distract yourself with an interesting television programme, for example, and don’t give in to the temptation to get up and start doing things with your hands.
There are myriad ways in which you might go about pampering your hands and nails; use this list of 7 steps to a DIY manicure as something of a blueprint and add or subtract stages where you like so that it suits you. Do you have any suggestions of your own to add?
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