Thursday, May 3, 2012

How I Have Perfected my at Home Manicure

So I basically have a slight addiction to nailpolishes. My friend and I actually used to quiz eachother on the names of the colors, haha.

I personally think I have perfected the at-home manicure and have decided to share my tricks.

I have really weak nails that peel & also nail polish ALWAYS chips within 1-2 days.. partially because of peeling but also just because my nails suck. I keep them short so that they look decent. 

1. Shape/File
First of all, after I trim my nails I use a crystal file. It is so much gentler on my nails and really helps with preventing - or atleast not causing- the peeling. It really makes a difference :)
After you're done filing, wash your hands atleast with water to remove residue and to have a clean base for your polish.

2. Base Coat
I used the same base coat for a few years until one time the store was out and I was devastated (rough life, I know) and the sales girl talked me into buying a different one. I don't know how she did it, but she convinced me to buy CND Stickey & promised it would make my polish last longer.

OH EM GEE it's a gift from above, I promise! I never thought my nail polish would last longer than a day without chipping, I had just accepted that as part of my life - and for a girl who loves nail polish it was really sad!

Seriously, get it. It will change your lifeeee.

3. Polish
OK, once that has set for a few minutes, it's time to paint ("polish" as we had to call it in beauty school =]) It really doesn't matter what brand you use, although I prefer OPI because of the width of the brush.

When painting, start with the brush 1/4 of the way up from your cuticle, then gently push down until you reach the cuticle. From there you want to repeat 3 times, once in the middle, and once to each side, leaving 1 mm between the edges of your nail and the brush - that's how you avoid getting paint all over the edges of your  nails!

Always do two coats. The first one doesn't need to dry completely before adding the second coat, but let it set for a few minutes then add the second coat using the same technique (start a 1/4 of the way down, push to the cuticle, then three strokes of polish).

4. Top Coat
Top coat is probably the most important step of making your manicure look "polished" (pun intended). It finishes off your look, making the color you chose look shiny and solid.

My favorite is Seche Vite dry fast top coat. This stuff is by far the BEST. It makes your nails completely dry in about two minutes, no joke. I am so impatient and until I found this, my nails were always smudged and I just stopped caring because I can't sit still long enough for them to dry. This literally dries them completely in a few minutes! Worth it's weight in gold, I promise.

And you're done! See how easy that was?  A professional looking manicure from the comfort of your own couch. =) Let me know how it works for you, or if you have any tricks I need to know!!

Oh, also. For those pesky hangnails and split cuticles that are so popular in these dry months: rub some aquaphor (my secret beauty tool for EVERYTHING) on the affected area, wrap in a bandaid and sleep with that overnight. In the morning, it'll practically be gone. It's magic, I swear.


Lauren said...

Love sticky -- last week I was hunting it and couldn't find it so I went with Orly's rubberized base coat that is pretty good too. But sticky is the best. I skip the base and top coats because I was having such chipping issues. I use two coats of a cheap $2 polish and it's lasted for about four days. Manicures are weird and different for everyone. I am thinking of asking for a gel kit for my bday. Hello DIY gel manicures!!!

Great tips lady! Can't wait for you to get your head wrap headband!

Melissa said...

My BFF swears by seche vite!

Hollie Ann said...

this is perfect for me today...bc my toes are DISGUSTING. and i was contemplating paying for a pedicure....but trying to save$$!

Hollie Ann said...

this is perfect for me today...bc my toes are DISGUSTING. and i was contemplating paying for a pedicure....but trying to save$$!

Mels said...

Great tutorial, Katie! I have 2 questions:
1. Where can I buy Stickey? Do they have it at Sally's or Ulta? (I did find some on Amazon if not)
2. When you file your nails, do you only file in one direction? (every time I file my nails they start breaking off soon after, but I file back and forth, not one direction)
Last time I painted my nails, my manicure didn't even last a didn't make it through dish washing (probably I should have worn gloves!). I'm excited to try your method!
Ps. when Logan saw the picture of the Aquafor...he said "Daddy's lotion!"...that's right, it's dermatologist recommended ;)