Like most women, I love having my nails done. There’s an odd satisfaction in looking down as you type on the computer or point to an item on a menu and seeing freshly lacquered nails. When I really feel like treating myself, a mani-pedi is always first on the list. However, I am still a girl on a budget. When it comes right down to it, most of the time I’d rather spend that $25 on something less frivolous. I really can’t afford to be finding myself at the nail salon every other week, so what’s a girl to do? Well my friends, we learn to do it ourselves! Today I’m going teach you how to nail the at home manicure!
Nail Polish Remover
Masking or Washi tape
Start with removing any polish from your nails. Putting polish over existing color will result in an uneven painted surface, and really look sloppy, even if it’s the same color.
Next file and buff your nails. Feel free to use a nail clipper if your nails are long and you don’t feel like filing them down for the next 20 minutes. I like to file the tops of my nails in a natural, rounded shape, but feel free to do square or pointed if that’s your jam! I always recommend using a buffer as well. This creates a rough surface for the polish to really stick to, similar to sanding down a car or piece of wood before you paint it.
Now painting, the toughest part of all. You’ll want to make sure you don’t have lacquer dripping off the brush. Trying to paint the nail in one fell sweep will typically result in a huge mess. When I was in cosmetology school, we learned that painting the nail in three strokes will result in a very clean nail, with very little possibility of it running over to the skin. Simply brush from the nail bed to the tip, up the middle, in one stroke. Repeat in the same direction on both sides. If you need a second coat, finish all your nails, then return to the first one. You’ll want to let them dry a bit between coats so the paint doesn’t clump up.
Just for fun, I decided to do a little design. Since it’s spring, I want to incorporate a little color into my life, and there’s no better way to do so than through my manicure. I wanted to go for a geometric look, so after I painted my nails with the base color and let it dry completely, I used washi tape to create the pattern. I prefer masking/ washi tape over scotch because the adhesive is less strong, meaning it won’t pull up the polish from my base coat when I peel it off. When using two colors, keep in mind you always want make the lightest coat your base color. Similar to painting your walls, the base color will serve as a primer and make the second color really pop.
Once both colors have dried, finish off your mani with a nice top coat to seal the deal and keep your fresh color from chipping. Now relax with some Netflix and ask your better half if they’ll whip up some dinner while your nails dry. Try to avoid putting your hands in warm water, like doing dishes or showering, for a few hours to prevent your polish from peeling up.
Plan on trying any of these tips for an at-home manicure? Tag us on Instagram/ Twitter with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty.