Quick And Simple Manicures

A guide to giving yourself a quick, simple manicure at home, including instructions, professional techniques, and list of necessary tools and products.

Nothing makes you hands look as good when they are neatly trimmed and freshly painted. However, going to the salon every time you want a manicure can be time consuming and expensive. Why not treat yourself a manicure at home? The process is much more simple than you think. With a little practice, you'll be giving yourself salon-quality manicures at home-with no one you have to tip once you're done!

Begin by removing any nail polish all ready on your nails with polish remover. Never soak your nails in the remover because it is very drying, especially to the sensitive cuticle area.Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.

Shaping and trimming your nails is the next step. If your nails are especially long and you want to cut them, do this now. Otherwise, begin by using a nail file to shape your nails. Use a file that is not very abrasive. Use a gentle motions, don't be too rigorous or you run the risk of damaging the nails. Shape the nails into rounded ovals, or you can square the edges slightly if you prefer. Avoid shaping your nails too square or into overly pointy claws.

Now that your nails are shaped, spend a little time on the cuticles. Proper cuticle care is essential to maintaining healthy nails. Apply lotion to the cuticles and rub it into the nail. Massage the hands as well if you have time. Use an orange stick to gently push the cuticle away from the nail. Do not cut, tear, or use excessive force with the cuticle. Improper cuticle care may result in hangnails or infections.

Before you apply paint, remove any excess moisturizer from the surface of your nails. You can either was your hands again or use a little polish remover. When choosing your polish color, consider the time of year. Dark, muted shades are a good choice for the cooler winter months. Bright, shimmery pinks are nice for spring and summer months. If the polish is thick, apply a few drops of polish thinner to make the application process smoother.

You should put a total of four coats of polish on your nail: a base coat, two coats of color, and a topcoat. First, apply a base coat of clear or ridge-filling nail polish before you put the color on. You should only make three strokes per nail. Make one stroke down the center of your nail (only put enough polish on the brush for this stroke). Then, make strokes on either side of the center streak. After a minute or two of drying time, apply the second coat. Finally, apply a chip resistant topcoat to make your manicure last.

Allow plenty of time for the polish to dry. Once it is set to the touch, apply moisturizer or hand cream again to seal in the healing benefits of your manicure. To make you manicure last as long as possible, apply an additional topcoat every other day or so. This will keep your nails protected and your manicure looking fresh for days to come!

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