Perfectly Painted Nails in 10 Easy Steps
Many women know the frustration of a professional manicure with perfectly painted nails that only lasts a couple of days before it starts to look tattered. The shiny coat of lacquer on the fingertips that makes a woman feel confident, pretty and elegant. Before long, there it is, a chip in the perfection of your polish, and with it a chip in your confidence. Maybe not quite as dramatic as when Cinderella’s carriage turns back into the pumpkin, but it still sends many women back for a touch up or trying to fix it themselves. One option gets expensive quickly, while the other often yields less than satisfying results. With a little time, the rights tools and a few tricks, you can do your own professional quality manicure at home for much less than going to a salon.
First, file your nails to the desired shape. Slip the nail file under your fingernail, between the skin and the nail. File in short quick strokes in one direction. Do not file back and forth, as it can weaken the nail. For a straight across shape, file in a straight line. For a rounded shape, arc the file around the corners of the nail. Continue filing until the nail reaches the shape and length you want.
Next, buff your nails. The technique for buffing is similar to that for filing. Hold the buffer like you hold the nail file and gently brush it across the top of the nail in short, quick strokes. Start with the cuticle and work toward the tip. As when filing nails, only buff in one direction or you could weaken the nail.
Next up is your cuticles. Apply either cuticle softener or lotion to the cuticles and use your index finger to work it in. Lotion works better after soaking your hands, so this is great for after a bath or shower. Once you have thoroughly massaged your cuticles with either lotion or cuticle cream, buff them with a cuticle buffer or nail buffer.
After your nails are filed and buffed and your cuticles have been softened and buffed, wash your hands to remove any residue or dirt from around the cuticles or under the nail.
Now it’s time for the polish!
First, apply the base coat. Support the finger you’re working on with your thumb. If you’re working on your thumb, use your middle finger for support. Brush on the polish starting at the cuticle and allow the brush to spread out to make broad strokes from cuticle to tip. If you always work from left to right, you’ll get a good even coat.
Now the fun part, the color!
First prep your brush. As you pull the brush out of the bottle, scrape the excess polish off of on the side of the bottle. Then, without dipping the brush back in the polish, do the same thing on the other side. Your goal is to move the paint to the tip one side of the brush. It takes a little practice, but when you get it right, the brush will have a bit of a crescent. This is the secret to a professional quality manicure.
For the first layer of color, support the finger the same way you did during the base coat. Start at the cuticle and apply just enough pressure for the brush to spread out. Apply broad strokes from cuticle to tip, working from left to right to ensure an even coat.
After applying the first layer of polish on both hands, repeat the the last two steps to apply a second layer.
After you are finished with the second coat, swipe the brush along the edge of the nail from left to right. This extends the life of your manicure by sealing the polish on the tip of the nail.
Last, finish the whole thing off with a quick drying top coat. This will help set the manicure quickly and prevent smudges.
As soon as your nails dry, go out and take on the world with your perfectly painted nails!
For more Hair and Beauty tips subscribe to the Afuro Hair and Beauty blog or join our newsletter.