DIY Manicure Tips for Salon Inspired Nails

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Create your own salon-style look.

While going to the nail salon to get your nails done is definitely a pampering experience, caring for your own hands is a good skill to have when you can’t go.

Follow these steps to do your own at-home manicure for salon-look nails.

What you’ll need:

– Nail polish remover
– Cotton balls or cotton pads
– Cuticle groomer or cuticle cream
– Nail clipper and nail file (try to avoid metal files, as they can be damaging)
– Nail buffer
– Hand scrub and hand cream
– Rubbing alcohol
– Nail polish (Base coat, color, top coat)
– Fine paintbrush to add design details or fix mistakes

6 Steps to a Basic DIY Manicure

Scrub your hands – Start by keeping your hands and nails clean. A quick scrub with a nail brush will keep you looking well-groomed.

Wipe away any old polish – Wipe your nails with cotton balls and nail polish remover, even if you aren’t wearing nail polish. This will remove residue from your nails.

Show some love to your cuticles – Gently push your cuticles back with your cuticle groomer or apply cuticle cream. Don’t cut your cuticles yourself.

Trim and file those nails – Clip your nails to your desired length and smooth out the edges with a nail file. File or shape into a desired look. Some common nail shapes are oval, square and squoval (square with rounded edges). For a low maintenance approach, choose oval as they are less likely to snag or break. When filing, don’t “see-saw” back and forth, as this can weaken your nails causing them to peel or split. Start at the outer edges and file towards the middle, going in just one direction. Make sure to smooth your nails by using a nail buffer to finish your look.

Exfoliate and moisturize – Use an exfoliant or hand scrub to get rid of any rough skin. If you want to keep this manicure completely DIY, try making a hand scrub with sugar and olive oil. Rinse off your scrub and complete your DIY manicure by massaging your hands and forearms with hand cream.

Polish away – Remove any excess oil from your hand cream with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or pad. Apply a base coat on each nail. This will protect your nail from staining and can help nail polish ‘grip’ so that it lasts longer.

Apply nail polish. You can use any color you’d like, mix and match colors or attempt French tips. Nude shades will appear to last longer, as chips, imperfections and nail growth is less noticeable.

After your nail polish dries, seal it with a clear top coat to increase shine. To protect your nail polish from chips, paint along the front of your nail to seal the color.

Finally, dip your paintbrush in nail polish remover and remove any excess polish.

Bonus Tips to Make Your Manicure Last Longer

  • If you’ve applied polish, wait until your nails are completely dry to go on with your usual activities. Even though nails may look dry, it could take hours for nail polish to completely harden.
  • You will need more time for nails to dry if the air is humid.
  • Keep your hands and cuticles moisturized. This will not only help your manicure last longer, but also make your hands look well cared for.
  • Wear household gloves when washing dishes or doing chores. Too much time underwater can weaken your nails. Plus, wearing gloves will protect them from harsh detergents and can help prevent chipping.

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