How to: Flawless at-home Manicure
Being a nail polish addict (hoarder?) that I am, I definitely don’t talk about nails here on the blog, often enough.
In High School, I was obsessed with acrylics. You know, the long pink fake nails with a thick, french tip…. yeah… thank God those days are gone! I’d spend hours and hours playing with my acrylic sets, filing, painting and filling my nails. I always found it to be very soothing and relaxing, which was one of the reasons why I always did them myself.
Btw, did you know that first acrylic nails were invented by a dentist who broke his fingernail at work? The more you know….
These days, I’m all about natural nails. I’m also kind of, sort of, really obsessed with nails and nail polish. I don’t always wear makeup, my hair can be a mess, my outfits aren’t always on point. BUT when it comes to my nails, they always have to look good.
I am a bit of a germophobe so I really don’t like getting my nails done at a salon- not even when bringing my own tools. Getting a pedicure during summer is a torture for me- I don’t enjoy it at all, but have accepted it to be a necessary evil.
I love a good at-home manicure session though and in this post, I’ll show you exactly how I file and prep my nails for a flawless nail polish application.*
The only time I cut my nails, is when I break one of them. I file them probably about once a week- this helps to get rid of any rough, pointy edges and prevents them from catching on clothing and breaking. Every night, in addition to applying my hand cream, I also massage some cuticle oil into my cuticles. I use anything from regular olive oil, Argan oil to apricot oil (this one from Essie is my favorite). Also about once a week, is when I change my nail polish color and give myself a manicure, this is what it looks like, step by step:
A FEW EXTRA TIPS..
If your cuticles are really rough and dry, you might want to use a cuticle removing cream before soaking your nails, to soften up your skin. If your cuticles tend to feel really dry after you remove your nail polish, try mixing your nail polish with a little olive oil (40% oil 60% nail polish remover).
After my top coat is dry, I usually apply a thick layer of my favorite hand cream and a little cuticle oil. I avoid applying any creams and oils before applying my base coat and polish, because both can leave your nail bed a little slippery, even after washing your hands.
If your nail polish smudges during application, you can easily fix it with your top coat- just apply a generous layer and let it dry.
Work with thin layers- from my experience, it’s much easier to apply two, thin (sometimes three, depending on how opaque the polish is) layers, rather than one or two thick ones. Your nails will dry faster and more evenly, if you work with thin layers.
These are some of my at-home mani must-haves: