Give yourself enough time for your at-home mani-pedi.
If your nail technician cannot fit into 30 minutes, neither can you. Enjoy the process of your at-home manicure. Play some music and give yourself at least an hour and a half. Patience is key. Before you start, make sure you have everything you need next to you. Here is the holy list you can follow:
- Nail polish remover and cotton swabs or pads
- Hot soapy water for your feet and hands
- Pumice stone
- Nail clippers
- Emery board and nail buffer
- Cuticle pusher and nippers
- Hand/nail oil
- Q tips
- Base coat
- Nail polish
You know the drill – clean, soak, shape, nurture, massage, paint… Let’s deep dive into each step:
- Clean and soak your hands. Obviously, the first step you should do is to remove your old nail color. Prepare a bowl of warm water, add soap, or if your nails are looking yellowish instead of soap squeeze lemon into it. After a few minutes, wash your hands and if there is any remaining nail polish left, use a cotton swab to remove it.
- Shape. Use a straight clipper if you are going for a square shape of your nails, or a rounded one if you prefer your nails more of an oval shape. A slightly rounded nail shape or square-rounded edge is generally the best way to go but you can be as creative as you want. File your nails to ensure they are in perfect shape before you paint them. Do it in long sweeping motions from side to side. You never want to go back and forth, you will just ruin your nails that way.
- Nurture. Cuticles. Once they are shaped the way you like them, go over cuticles with some cuticle oil.
- While it’s on, gently push them away to make space for nail polishes and nail designs. Be careful NOT to pull, lift, tear, rip, force, or cut into the cuticle in any way. Do NOT clip into the cuticle; merely nip off the free edge with a pair of metal cuticle nippers. It’s better to under-do this step than to overdo it because the cuticle helps protect the nail bed from all sorts of problems.
Let the fun part begin! The final steps to your manicure are:
Massage your hands.
Paint. Apply the base coat. That’s the secret to making your manicure long-lasting. It protects the nails and they do not get as yellow as they would do without it. Now, the fun part! Polish time. Go slowly and paint little by little, and leave parts along cuticles showing, to make sure not to paint your cuticles as you will never get it off completely.