Monday, January 11, 2021

How to Give Yourself a Professional Manicure at Home


Did you know that getting a manicure and pedicure every two weeks tends to cost about $1,345 per year? It may not seem like much to drop $30 twice a month, but in the end, it does add up.

That being said, who doesn't want their nails to look good and well taken care of? There's nothing wrong with preferring a polished look--no pun intended!

Fortunately, there are solutions for anyone who wants to cut down on their spending but keep up their routine of getting a manicure every few weeks.

Let's take a look at how to give yourself a manicure at home. With our simple guide, you'll be doing your own nails like a professional in no time!

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Of course, a manicurist is only as good as her tools. When you first get started giving yourself manicures, you may have to make an initial investment. However, it will quickly balance out when you're getting manicures every other week for free!

First, grab some nail polish remover and cotton balls or swabs. You're also going to need a nail file, cuticle pusher and cuticle nippers, cuticle remover, and moisturizer. Of course, you're also going to need your nail polish!

If you're working with a cheaper nail polish, you may need to get a base coat and clear topcoat. However, we suggest this vegan nail polish for a strong, long-lasting finish that is also kinder to the world around you!

Step 2: Remove Any Old Nail Polish

To get started, remove any old nail polish using a cotton ball or swab and polish remover. People often wonder which is better, acetone remover or acetone-free remover. The reality is that acetone remover works faster and doesn't need to come into contact with your skin for very long, although it is a bit harsher than acetone-free remover--meaning that they kind of equal out in the end.

Step 3: Give Your Nails Some Shape

If necessary, cut some of the length from your nails using regular nail clippers. Leave them slightly longer than you want them so that you have more room for error when filing.

Once it's time to file your nails into the desired shape (we recommend rounded or squared off with rounded edges), go for an emery board or crystal nail file. Metal and other coarse materials are far more likely to cause your nails to weaken and splinter.

Remember, avoid the back-and-forth filing motion you tend to see on TV. Instead, file your nails gently from one side to the other, moving in the same direction the entire time.

Step 4: Soak Your Fingers and Nails

Now for our favorite part! Grab a small bowl or container and fill it with warm water. Then, add a few drops of shampoo or a gentle, non-exfoliating facial cleanser.

Soak your nails and fingertips for about three minutes. The objective, here, is to soften your cuticles, making them easier to cut. Make sure that you don't soak your nails for longer than three minutes, as over-soaking can actually cause problems for your skin and nailbeds.

Step 5: Apply Your Cuticle Remover and Trim Your Cuticles

Cuticle remover isn't required for a quality home manicure, but it can make your life a little bit easier. If you have it, apply a small drop of cuticle remover to each nailbed before you start tackling your cuticles.

Apply the remover to one nail at a time, using your cuticle tools between each application. Keep a cloth on hand to wipe away the cuticle remover once the cuticles are pushed and trimmed. You don't want to leave cuticle remover on for more than a few seconds, since it's pretty powerful stuff.

To trim your cuticles, start with your cuticle pusher. Gently push your cuticles away from the nail. Use your cuticle nipper to nip off the free edge, making sure that you do not pull, tear, or cut the cuticle.

Step 6: Moisturize and Prep for Polish

Once you're satisfied with the shape of your nails and the appearance of your cuticles, it's time to apply a thin layer of moisturizer. Make sure that you massage some of your moisturizer into your cuticles to rehydrate and replenish the cells.

For this step, you can use any moisturizer that you like. However, you may find better luck with moisturizers that are less on the oily side, since the oil can affect the consistency of the polish. Regardless of the moisturizer you use, you're going to want to use a clean cotton ball or swab to buff the nails and remove any excess moisturizer that may be coating them.

Step 7: Paint in Layers and Allow to Dry

If you're using a base coat, begin with a thin layer of it and allow it to dry. Base coats are useful for anyone with ridged or brittle nails and can protect the nail from staining.

Once the base coat is dry, it's time for your first layer of the polish of your choice. If you're not confident in your nail painting skills, try a lighter color that's a little more forgiving! Once that first layer looks settled and dry, add your second layer.

Wait for nails to dry entirely before applying a topcoat. If the nails are still wet, the topcoat will disrupt the smooth appearance--and you'll end up with some color in your topcoat bottle.

Finally, allow your nails to dry before going about your day!

Save Some Money By Learning How to Give Yourself a Manicure at Home

If you're hoping to save some money but can't stand the thought of bare or unshapely nails, don't sweat it! By learning how to give yourself a manicure at home, you can get the look you love without spending money every few weeks.

Looking for more tips on fashion and finance? Take a look at more of our content for the information you need on how to look great on a budget.

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