You don't have to go to a nail salon every time your toenails or fingernails need a new coat of polish.
Armed with the knowledge in this article, you can keep your own nails looking fantastic all the time, without ever having to enlist the help of a professional!
1. Getting Your Hands And Nails Ready For A Manicure
Before you paint your nails, use an acetone-based nail polish remover to get rid of any old polish. To keep cotton lint from getting stuck to your nails, apply nail polish remover with cotton wipes or a makeup sponge instead of a cotton ball.
After that, file and trim your nails so that they're neat and uniform. Then, soften up your nails and hands by soaking them in a bowl of either warm water and liquid soap, or lemon juice and olive oil. Gently push your cuticles back with a cotton-wrapped orange stick.
The final steps before painting your nails are to use either coarse salt and olive oil or a sugar scrub to exfoliate, and then add a little more moisturizer to your hands.
2. Preparation For A Pedicure
First, take a few minutes to soak your feet in a bowl of warm water, mixed with some Epson salts and perhaps a little bit of an essential oil you like.
Feet usually have more dead skin to remove than hands, which makes exfoliation a little more difficult. To exfoliate your feet, remove dry skin flakes with a pumice stone, then use a salt or sugar scrub, and finally, apply a heavy-duty moisturizing lotion.
The cuticles on your toenails deserve to be treated with just as much care as the ones on your fingernails. Put cuticle oil on them, too, and push them back the same way as you did on your fingers.
3. Selecting Your Nail Polish Colors
Here are a few ideas to help you pick the perfect colors for your nails.
Nervous about having an attention-grabbing color on your fingernails? Put the cherry-red or neon-pink polish on your toenails instead, and use a more subtle color for your fingers.
When in doubt, choose a color that coordinates with your skin tone. If your skin is a cooler color, you can use anything from a dramatic dark plum to beige with an undertone of pink. If you have a warm skin tone, your choices range from neutral colors with a yellow base to a deep, rich burgundy.
4. Polish Your Nails Like A Pro
First, put on a base coat of nail polish. This stops your nails from getting stained, and helps keep your nail color smooth.
Instead of shaking the nail polish bottle before applying it, roll it between your palms. This will reduce the number of air bubbles that end up on your nails. Also, your nail polish will be thinner and easier to apply if you mix one or two drops of nail polish remover into it every once in a while, and it will last longer if you keep it in the refrigerator.
As far as painting your nails goes, there are many ways to do it. The simplest technique is to make a single stroke down the center of your nail, followed by a stroke on either side of it. To keep your polish from smudging, apply several thin coats separated by at least 30 minutes of drying time.
Your nail polish won't chip at the tip of your nail if you paint the underside of the tip with a tiny bit of polish. It also helps protect your nail polish if, every other day, you replenish your clear top coat.
After all your nail polish has dried completely, dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover and use it to remove any extra nail polish from your fingertips.