I’ll be the first to admit it: I absolutely love manicures. They take you from feeling like this:
to feeling like this:
But the truth is, you don’t always have time / money / etc. to go get a mani every time you want or need one. The good news is that with a few tools and investing in some high quality polishes, you can save yourself time and money and create some seriously pretty manis.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Prep & Scrub
These are easily the most important steps in the whole manicure process. First, remove your polish, wash your hands, clean your tools, and ready your mani space. Next, clip your nails and apply cuticle remover (pictured above by Deborah Lippman). After your remover has had a chance to soften your cuticles, use the blunt end of the cuticle pusher to gently push them back, and then take the cuticle trimmers to remove any excess skin. Wash your hands again and this time, add the scrub to soften your hands and remove any rough spots.
2. Buff & Polish
After your hands are dry, take you nail file and clean up your freshly-clipped nails so there aren’t any sharp pieces, and then take the block buffer to smooth out the top and edges of each nail. (This helps your base coat adhere more securely, so don’t skimp here!) Shake your base coat well and apply one coat. Then apply two coats of your nail polish of choice (I love these nudes because they’re gorgeous and wear incredibly well). Finally, finish everything off with one coat of top coat.
3. Wait & Moisturize
After you’re finished polishing, wait for 20 minutes for your nails to completely dry. (My mama and I can attest to this being the biggest manicure saver out there!) Once you’re sure everything is dry, clean up any messy polish and use some heavy-duty hand cream to make your hands feel great. Top everything off with a thin layer of cuticle oil and massage it into your nail bed and the surrounding area. (Bonus points for doing this at least once a day to keep your nail beds and surrounding skin soft!)
Tips and Tricks
– Use Pinterest for nail polish inspiration
– If you want to try a complicated nail art design, invest in some nail wraps and embellishments, which can be significantly easier to do than your Pinterest DIYs
– Pick up a makeup bag to store all your mani goodies so you can take it with you anywhere you go!
– Shop Beauty Brands for the same tools and products the pros use!
What are your mani go-tos?