Having a manicure can really help you feel put -together. I know that once I have my nails done it instantly perks me up and makes me look like I actually put some effort into how I look. Getting your nails done is therapeutic, but on the other hand can be quite pricy. Especially if you are paying for gel and other extras. If you are looking to save money then going for your bi-monthly manicure is definitely something that you will have to bid farewell to. But not to fret, you can easily achieve an amazing manicure at home for a fraction of the cost. Here are 10 steps to the perfect manicure at home.

Step 1- Essential Tools For Getting The Perfect Manicure At Home

In order to get the best manicure possible at home, you will need some essential tools. They do not have to be the most expensive on the market and you can head to your local pharmacy or beauty store to find many of these products. It is easiest to have a designated pouch or cosmetic bag for them so that they are always together and easy to find. This is what you will need:

  • Nail Clippers
  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton pads/ wool and ear buds
  • Emery board and nail file
  • Cuticle pusher and nippers
  • Callous/ cuticle remover
  • Hand/nail moisturiser
  • Base coat
  • Nail polish
  • Top coat
  • Any other products or items you may need if using gel.

Step 2-Remove

Now that you have all of the products and bits and bobs, it is time to remove any nail polish you currently have on your nails. There is a big debate between whether you should be using acetone or acetone -free nail polish remover. As with all products there are of course negative and positive attributes to both. Acetone-free nail polish removers are much gentler than acetone based products, but you will require more product to remove the nail polish and it may take longer . Acetone nail polish works much faster than acetone-free nail polish, but acetone nail polish removers are harsh and more unforgiving on the skin. Both are not ideal for the skin, but the decision is purely an individual one.

Step 3- Shape

With clean nails it is now time to shape your nails. I personally do not like to cut my nails, and prefer to file them down and then shape them. But do whatever works best for you. Round or square the nails out at a desired length that works for you. Avoid extremely course nail files as this will just cause damage.  Instead opt for a slightly abrasive emery board. Use a slightly abrasive buffer on the side and top of the nails. This will create an even surface. Do be cautious though as too smooth a surface can mean that the nail polish can literally just slide off!

Step 4- Soak

Take a moment to relax and immerse your hands in look warm water for 3 minutes. It is important that the cuticles are  soft before trimming as it will make the process easier. But do not soak for too long as this could be detrimental. Limit the soaking time to 3 minutes. For an extra pamper you could add some of your gentle face cleanser to the water.

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Step 5- Cuticle remover

In order to soften the cuticle and the thick skin around the nail it is vital that you use a cuticle remover as it will make the process a whole lot easier…and less painful!

Step 6- Remove Cuticles

Gently push the cuticle back from the nail by using the cuticle pusher in your kit. Be sure to do this gently as pushing too  hard could damage the cuticle and hinder future nail growth. Be sure not to pull,lift or tear away at the cuticle. Only remove excess edges. It is best to under-do it here than over -do it as the cuticle has to protect the nail. Without it you could run into some serious problems.

Step 7- Moisturise

Use your favourite hand cream or oil to massage into your nails and hands.  Spend some time massaging your hands. It will help you relax and there are various pressure points on the hands that can positively impact you body when pressed.

Step 8- Nail polish Prep

Having absorbed the necessary moisture from the cream, it is time to remove any excess moisture from the nails. Any residue left will hinder the nail polishes ability to “stick” to your nails. Use a cotton pad and rub some nail polish remover over your nails. With clean dry nails you are now ready to move on to the next step.

Step 9- Paint

This step is probably the trickiest of all the steps. I personally find painting my nails quite difficult. Painting with your left hand ?! There are various tricks and tips that you should try when painting your nails as to ensure that you are able to emulate that nail salon look. Firstly, do not forget to fist apply a base coat. Not only will this help to strengthen the nail. but it will also help to protect the nail from staining. I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to apply a base coat when painting my nails black. Needless to say, it took ages to fully remove the nail polish when I wanted to apply a new colour.Agh! Base coat on, apply the nail polish in layers. Many people  make the mistake of applying too much nail polish at once. This just leads to a big mess and you never wanting to paint your own nails ever again.With a small amount of polish on the tip of the brush, start in the middle of your nail and work from there. Once all your nails are painted allow this layer to dry. Then apply your second layer. Once this layer is dry apply the final layer, the top coat.Be patient and allow each layer to dry fully. Doing otherwise will leave you with a less than satisfactory mani.

*Top tip: In order to ensure that your manicure lasts longer and has that salon look, take a few minutes every other day to top up with a coating of top coat.

Step 10- Moisturise

Finish off with reapplying some moisturiser. Moisturiser is essential in healthy looking hands and nails.