Love pretty nails but don’t want to go to a salon? Me too, friend. The salon experience has never been my favorite and during a pandemic? That’s going to be a no from me. Luckily, it’s easy to do an at home manicure in just a few steps!
You should always start with clean, dry nails. Do not soak your nails in water! Water is terrible for your nails. It can push the natural oils out of your nails which can lead to peeling. Water can also cause your nails to expand. This changes the shape of your nails. When your nails contract (dry), the polish does not. This can lead to chipped or *cracked polish.
5 steps for an at home manicure
- Remove any old polish with your favorite nail polish remover. I prefer a remover with acetone. What you use is up to you.
- Remove or push back your cuticles. I use a rubber cuticle pusher with this cuticle remover. I apply the cuticle remover according to package directions and scrape the softened cuticles off with the cuticle pusher. Do not cut your cuticles OR that fold of skin at the base of your nail.
- Rinse off the cuticle remover. It contains caustic substances. If you didn’t use cuticle remover, you can skip this step. Remember, do not soak your nails. Just rinse enough to get the cuticle remover off & make sure your nails are dry.
- File your nails in the shape you like using a fine grit nail file. I prefer a crystal nail file. Buffing your nails is not typically necessary and can make your nails weaker. If your nails are overly oily, you can gently buff just enough to remove some of the shine from your nails.
- Use an alcohol prep pad, alcohol on a cotton ball or your nail polish remover (mine says it is a remover and nail prep, your mileage may vary) on a cotton ball to clean your nails. This step removes of “dust” leftover from filing your nails and any oils from your nails.
Polish or nah?
After those 5 steps, you’re ready to polish your nails:
- If you’re using Color Street, apply as normal.
- When using regular wet nail polish, use your favorite base coat, 2 coats of color and your favorite top coat.
If you don’t plan to polish your nails right away, or it’s been a few hours since you’ve polished them (the polish has fully cured/dried), apply cuticle oil to keep your nails moisturized & healthy.
*Don’t be overly concerned if your polish has slight cracks after a few days of wear. Healthy nails are strong but flexible. It is common for cracks to appear at the point where your nails bend.
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