I’m a fan of getting manicures and pedicures. It’s a nice treat and always looks better and lasts longer then the ones I do myself. Plus, being able to relax in a comfy chair while people file, buff, and polish me, is a tiny piece of heaven. However, sometimes with a busy schedule, I can’t always get to the salon before they close. Here are my 10 tips for getting pretty, polished nails that won’t chip with the first clank of a wine glass.
From top left: Deborah Lippmann Nail Buffer, Essie Nail Polish in Tart Deco, Seche Dry Fast Top Coat, Zoya Nail Polish Remover, cotton balls, Sparitual Nail and Cuticle Oil, Orly Bonder Base Coat, orange sticks
1. File and buff nails. I leave the cuticle clipping to the professionals since I don’t want to hurt myself. But I do file and buff my nails to create a smooth finish. Clip your nails if you need to, and then file the edge into your desired shape. Buff the top slightly to get rid of any ridges.
2. Using an orange stick, swipe under each nail to make sure there’s no dirt or excess nail bits that need filing off.
3. Wash hands with soap and warm water.
4. Wipe each nail with nail polish remover to get rid of any soap or residue before applying a base coat.
5. Now it’s time for color. Try to polish nails with as little strokes as possible for a bubble-free, smooth finish. I start in the center, and if one swipe isn’t enough, I add one or two more on either side. One trick I learned is not to go all the way to the cuticle. Stopping just before will make it look clean and professional. Swipe the tips of nails to ensure coverage, and use your orange stick to clean any edges or mistakes while the polish is still wet (but you can clean up later as well).
6. I pretty much always add a second coat to hide streaks and deepen the color. If you want to add a third coat, keep it thin, so your nails won’t take forever to dry.
7. Wait 3 minutes and add a quick-drying top coat to each nail.
8. If you need to clean up any mistakes around the edges of your nails, wrap your orange stick with a little bit of cotton (or use a pointy-tipped cotton swab) and dip in nail polish remover.
9. Add a drop or two of cuticle oil to each nail to help set and moisturize. No need to rub in. This also helps from any hairs or dust getting trapped in your pretty, perfectly polished, DIY mani.
10. Refresh nails every 4-5 days by adding another top coat and a few drops of cuticle oil.