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Treat yourself to a manicure

Not everyone can regularly schedule a visit to the nail salon. If your nails are in need of some serious help but you don"t have the time or money to make it to the salon, here are some simple ways to achieve a professional looking manicure at home.

 

You will need:

Nail cutters
Nail file or emergy boards
Polish remover and cotton pads
Cuticle stick [wood or rubber are best]
Cuticle conditioner
Bowl of warm water
nail hardener
polish remover
Base coat, nail color and top coat

Wipe your nails with a cotton pad dipped in nail polish remover. Even if your nails werent previously painted - don't skip this step. This will clean your nails of any dirt or oils for a professional manicure.

Use a sharp nail cutter to trim your nails so that they are all the same length.

GOOD TO KNOW
Never use blunt nail cutters on your nails. These will shred the fibres in the nail and result in nail tips that will easily chip and break.

Fill a small dish with mild soap and warm water. A drop of olive milk liquid soap leaves your hands feeling silky smooth.

Soak your hands in the sudsy water for 5 to 15 minutes. Remove hands from the water and dry thoroughly.

To give your nails a conditioning and add natural shine, soak your nails in warm water mixed with a splash of fresh lemon.

Have a selection of emery boards on hand. Use a medium-grit emery board to shape the nail and a fine-emery board for finishing. Move the board in only one direction. Do not scrape it back and forth over your nails. Doing so will only damage the nail. Continue gently filing your nails until you have the desired shape and length.

Use a cuticle stick to push back the cuticles and get rid of dead skin. Push the cuticle back gently, angle the stick, and use light circular motions to stop damage to the cuticles.

Once your cuticles are all pushed back, gently dab a small amount of cuticle conditioner onto the cuticle and massage into the cuticle. This keeps the cuticle soft and manageable.

Apply a base coat or nail hardener to your nails. It isn't necessary to apply thick coat, rather two thin coats. Wait until completely dry before you apply your second coat of nail polish.

For professional nails, apply a shiny top coat to your nails. This will also make your manicure last longer and prevent premature chipping of your nail polish.

If, like me, your nails take a lot of beating, I recommend using Sally Hanson Diamond Strength Nail Hardener. I like to grow my nails and find this product at excellent for strengthening and conditioning.