Though heading to the salon is the ideal choice for a beautiful, long-lasting manicure, it isn't the only option. Here are a few tips for the best DIY manicure!
- Clean your nails with nail polish remover. Even if you don't have polish on your nails, swipe a cotton ball of remover across each nail to remove any dirt or oils, since these can disturb a smooth finish.
- Clip your nails to the desired length, then file gently. Be sure to file in one direction only when creating the shape of your tips.
- Buff the tops and sides of your nail with a nail buffer (not your nail file!). Buffing creates a smooth surface for polish.
- Attend to your cuticles. You can use a cuticle remover (an exfoliator) or cuticle oil (a moisturizer), along with an orange stick or cuticle stick to gently push them back.
- Exfoliate your skin, then moisturize!
- Apply a base coat before adding color. This will protect your nails, hydrate them and lessen the chance of chipping. Don't forget to let your base coat to dry!
- Paint your nails with your favorite color - twice. Just like with your basecoat, be sure to let the first application of color dry before applying the second. A general rule is to wait at least two full minutes between coats.
- Don't forget your top coat! There are a variety of types you can use including shiny, matte, quick dry and more. Whatever you choose, a top coat is crucial to the longevity of your beautiful DIY manicure.
A quick note about polish application technique: less is more. Don't overload your brush with polish or do too many strokes. Start by making one stripe down the middle of your nail, then once again on either side. If you take this three-stripe approach, you should be able to easily achieve maximum coverage, from cuticle to corners.