Who doesn’t want perfect, immaculately painted nails? A manicure has become a common luxury that women indulge in nowadays. But you don’t need to visit a high-end nail spa for a flawless manicure. Doing it at home is much more fun! All you need to do is follow some simple steps.
Get your kit together:
First of all, get your manicure kit together. These are the basic things that you’ll need:
- Base coat
- Nail polish
- Top coat
- Nail polish remover
- Nail file
- Cuticle stick
- Cotton rounds/balls
- A thin paint brush
Get your phone out of your bag/pocket, have a snack so you don’t get hungry, tie up your hair, use the washroom. Anything that might mess up your wet nails later, do it now.
Prep your nails:
File your nails if needed. Use a crystal/glass nail file if you have one, or the next best option is a ceramic file. Push back your cuticles with a cuticle stick after soaking your fingers in warm water. I always paint my nails more neatly without my cuticles getting in the way. Remove any nail polish from a previous manicure. Even if you don’t have polish on, go over your nails with cotton soaked in nail polish remover to remove any grease or oil.
Using a base coat will help the polish adhere to your nails. You can use a ridge-filler if you have ridges on your nails, or a strengthening base coat if your nails are weak and prone to breakage.
I’m terrible at making videos, so I’ll try and explain this to the best of my abilities. I start with one strip in the centre: I place the brush around 3-4 mm away from the cuticle, then push the brush upwards gently to 1mm from the cuticle, and then swipe downwards covering the whole length of the nail. Don’t forget the 1 mm gap. If you paint right up to the cuticles, the polish might get onto your skin, or flood your cuticles, making it look messy. So the first strip in the centre, then one on each side. I generally follow the three stroke rule, but I may go over the same area again if the formula is difficult to control.
Tip: Don’t get too much polish on the brush. It’ll create a thick coat, which will look uneven and take longer to dry. I always make all my coats (except the last one) as thin as I can.
Clean the edges:
This step, along with the next one, is what will make your nails look like they were done by a pro. Pour a small amount of acetone into the cap of the bottle. Then, use a thin paint brush dipped in acetone/nail polish remover to clean any nail polish that you may have gotten onto the cuticles or skin. I first clean the cuticles, and then repeat the process to create a sharp, neat boundary between the polish and the cuticle. I use a 000 or 0 numbered paintbrush, which you can get at any stationary store. But you can use any thin makeup brush as well. This is the clean-up method used by most nail bloggers, making their nails picture-perfect! However, try painting your nails as neatly as possible in the first place, so that you don’t have to clean up too much.
Some people apply topcoat before cleaning the edges, but I do it later. It’s just a personal preference, as it gives the polish more time to dry. Topcoat is usually self-leveling. So any streakiness that the polish caused, will be hidden by the topcoat. All you’ll be left with is a smooth, glossy-finished manicure!
And finally, you can now sit back, relax and admire your pretty nails!
Do remember that there is a learning curve involved. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get a flawless mani the first time. The good news is that this skill isn’t difficult to learn. Stop visiting the salon for professional manicures, and start following these simple steps at home. You’ll master the art of painting your nails in no time
Did you know these tips on how to wear nail polish perfectly on your nails?
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