How To Do A Five Minute Manicure

The article shows how to give yourself a perfect manicure when you're pressed for time.

You're dressed to the nines, your hair looks perfect, and even your eyeliner went on straight tonight. You're all ready to walk out the door when you glance down at your hands and notice with horor that your dark nailpolish is chipped and looks like a disaster. Don't panic - try the five minute manicure, and you'll arrive on time and perfectly groomed.

Before you start

If you're going to be leaving your apartment with wet nails, you need a game plan for getting out the door without smudging your manicure. Before you start the nail makeover, find your keys, your bag and put on your coat. That way, you won't be rummaging in your bag or trying to get your arms through your coat sleeves with wet nails.

Once you're ready to go, quickly lay out all the necessary tools of the trade in the bathroom. You'll need cottonwool, nail varnish remover, an emery board and a nail color in a neutral, pale shade.

The manicure begins

Even though you're in a mad rush, it's essential that you make controlled, careful movements. If you splash nail varnish remover on your coat or dress, you'll have to get changed and you really will be late. Not to mention the drycleaning bill. If it took you hours to put your outfit together, you'll realize the importance of this point.

Wet some cottonwool with the nailpolish remover and carefully press it against your nail. Wait a few seconds to give the remover time to penetrate the varnish. This is more efficient than scrubbing wildly at the nail and smearing color all over your fingers.

Wipe carefully when most of the polish has been absorbed, and move onto the next nail. Repeat this process until all your nails are free of polish, and then give your hands a quick wash with soap and warm water, being careful not to splash your clothes.

When your hands are thoroughly dry, quickly smooth the edges of any rough nails with the emery board. This is not the time to painstakingly shape each nail: just round off any jagged edges and correct any obvious problems. There's no time to attend to your cuticles, apart from giving them a quick push back with the rounded edge of the emery board. Be gentle - you can't finish the manicure if your cuticles are bleeding!

The finishing touches

Now that your nails are clean, dry and well-enough shaped, they're ready to receive a coat of neutral polish. If you use a polish in a soft, natural color, it will be harder for people to spot any mistakes in application. Dark colors require an exacting techniques, and any wobbly edges are highly noticable. Apply the polish in three long, even strokes: down the middle of the nail first, and then one on either side. Use the polish sparingly, applying a thin coat, which will dry more quickly and won't run or drip.

In this emergency, high-speed manicure, there's no time for a base coat or a top coat. This five minute treatment will ensure your nails are presentable, and the natural color will make you look groomed and effortlessly put together.

Pick up those keys carefully, and you should be out the door with perfect nails, and minutes to spare!

© High Speed Ventures 2011