Many women had long-standing nail salon appointments before Covid-19 hit. Getting a weekly manicure was once a relaxing treat and is considered a major part of self-care. Now, InStyle says that is has become a source of anxiety.
While many nail salons have now reopened, being in close contact with nail technicians and other salon-goers may be a health risk. Press-on nails are trending, but a manicure is a wholly different experience. If you're not keen on going back to your favorite nail salon, give yourself a manicure at home.
The Oprah Magazine lists down the following essentials for a DIY manicure: cotton balls or rounds, nail file, manicure sticks, cuticle remover, cuticle clippers, base coat, nail polish, nail polish remover, top coat or quick-dry coat. You may already have some of these items at home. If you don't have the basic tools, you can purchase a nail kit. Refinery29 suggests Sephora Collection Tough As Nails Deluxe Manicure Kit, Yougai Manicure Set Nail Clippers Pedicure Kit or Tweezerman Mini Nail Rescue Kit.
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Remove existing nail polish with polish remover. Wash off residue and natural oils with soap and water.
Soak your nails in warm soapy water before cutting them to avoid microtears. If you intend to keep them long, use a nail file to get them in your desired shape. To avoid microtears on dry nails, make sure to file in one direction.
Apply cuticle remover on your dry cuticles to soften them. You can also use cuticle remover to remove yellowish stains left by dark nail polish shades. You can also soak your nails in warm water with a denture tablet if the first method doesn't remove all stains.
Once your cuticles are soft, push them back with a manicure stick. Cover the tip with some cotton to remove the skin without damaging your nail bed. Celebrity nail artist Miss Pop advises against cutting your cuticles. You'll get bumpy skin around your nail and you're also risking infection. However, you will notice cuticle clippers in any basic kit. Use those to remove hangnails if you have them.
Once your nails are clean and in your desired shape, apply a base coat. A base coat provides a barrier between your nails and your polish. It also prolongs the lifespan of the nail polish. While some skip this step, make sure to use a base coat if you're planning on painting your nails dark colors. Byrdie recommends OPI Natural Nail Base Coat, Essie First Base Base Coat or Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Color Base Coat.
Apply your nail polish. Use at least two coats for the color to pop. When using your non-dominant hand to paint, you can apply some petroleum jelly around the nail beds of your dominant hand so you can easily remove stains. You can also just use a Q-tip dipped in acetone to clean the corners.
Apply your top coat to preserve the nail color. You can use clear nail polish for this step or fast dry drops from any nail polish brand. Choose formulas that are chip-resistant, hydrating or strengthening. You can reapply your top coat every two to three days to make your nail polish last even longer.
Reader's Digest reminds you to do some aftercare. Make sure your cuticles are moisturized. You can apply a cuticle oil or use a hand cream to avoid chipping.
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