If you pride yourself on your natural nails, then this is the perfect manicure for you; in fact, it’s probably what you should indulge yourself in at least once a week to keep your nails strong and beautiful.
Even if you keep your nails at a shorter, more active length and especially if you use artificials, this process will help keep your natural nails and beds strong and healthy.
Now, you can go to a salon every week or two for a basic manicure and a fresh coat of polish, and that’s fun to do if you have the time and money.
But some beginning home manicurists really need to learn the basic steps to proper care and health of their nails so they’re properly prepped for applying whatever art designs they’ve decided to try.
So these are the beauty supplies you should have on hand for your home manicure and the steps to follow to get your nails ready for your polishes and art. All of these supplies can be purchased at your local department store and possibly even “dollar stores” in your area for the most savings.
- A bowl of warm water with some mild liquid soap: opens the pores and loosens cuticles
- Cotton balls or cotton pads: use with polish remover to remove old polish
- Nail polish remover (non-acetone for artificials): Removes old polish and removes cuticle oils after the manicure
- Fresh dry towel: to pat dry your hands after soaking
- Orange stick: cleaning under the nails and removing overgrown cuticles
- Nail clippers: cutting nails down if needed; safer and better trim than scissors
- Emery boards or files: trimming and shaping
- Nail buffers: removing surface ridges
- Nail polish base coat and top coat: the final touches
And here’s what you do for a salon perfect manicure at home:
Use the cotton balls or pads to remove your polish then clean your nails. If you’re taking your time and having nothing else planned but your manicure, you can leave your hands soaking in the soapy water for a few minutes after you remove the polish.
Use cuticle oil around the cuticles to help soften them after soaking them. This also helps loosen the cuticles to push them back.
Clean underneath your nails and around the cuticles with the orange stick. Use the orange stick push the cuticles back.
Clip and shape your nails. You may not need to clip them if you are in fact letting them grow longer. But sometimes wear on the ends depending on what you’re doing with them and need to be reshaped. If you’re using artificials and need to keep your natural nails clipped short, be sure to file them a little to make them smooth around the edges.
Be sure to only file your natural nails in one direction at a time, starting from the sides and moving to the middle. This one-way motion will keep them from splitting.
Buff the top of your nails with the buffer. If you have any ridges in the nail bed, you can buff them smooth so your polish and any art looks smooth. Polishes will go on much nicer if there aren’t any surface ridges.
Remove any excess cuticle oil or creams with non-acetone polish remover to get ready for polishing. If you’re not planning on using a color polish or doing any art designs, you can apply one or two coats of a clear base or top coat and you’re done. Otherwise, apply one to two coats of base coat and then move on to whatever nail art technique you have planned for the day.
This is the perfect manicure to do at least once a week not only for nail beauty but to keep your nails looking their best, even with artificial nails or tips.