Salon manicures are expensive, how do you get professional-looking manicures at home? I’ve tried doing all the basic steps (clean, file, carefully apply polish) but my nails can still look awful! Here are some tips from the experts.
Don’t ‘saw’ the nails back and forth
Moving the nail file back and forth will make your nails split. It’s better to just hold the nail file at an angle and then file in one direction, starting from the left corner going to the center, and then the right corner going to the center. Using short strokes also prevents you from filing away too much.
Do take care of your cuticles every day
A twice-a-month manicure won’t rescue cuticles that you neglect the rest of the time. Invest in a cuticle oil and rub it into the bottom of your nails and underneath the tips after your shower and just before you go to bed. In general, cuticle oils are much better absorbed than hand lotions.
Don’t cut your cuticles
Your cuticles actually protect your nail beds from bacteria. Cutting them may cause nail infections (plus they grow back worse!). Instead, push your cuticles with a soft cloth or orange stick whenever you take a shower.
Do use a base coat
Base coats help protect your nails from drying or staining (especially if you use very dark colors of nail polish).
Do use thin layers
Swipe the nail polish brush along the side of the bottle so you don’t get a big gloop of color. Then, apply polish in the center of the nail and then on the two sides. Allow to dry before applying another coat.
Don’t paint your cuticles
Leave a small gap between your cuticles and your nail polish. If you accidentally get some nail polish on your cuticles or skin, dip a cotton bud or makeup brush into acetone and gently swipe away. You can also apply lotion or petroleum jelly on the skin right before your manicure so that any stray color won’t adhere.
Do “wrap” the nail
Apply a little bit of polish on the tips of your nails. This helps prevents chips and also looks better.
Do add a top coat
This prevents chipping and also adds a beautiful shine.