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So, it’s Tuesday night, and you’re sitting at home checking out some celebrity Instagrams and you happen to notice there are a lot of posts of celebrity manicures. Kylie Jenner’s Instagram shows her pale pink nails perfectly matched to her Chanel handbag. Vanessa Hudgen’s Coachella iridescent gemstone manicure defies reality and Beyonce’s hennaed hands make you wonder, “Is it real or is it photoshopped?” You feel the need to quell your overwhelming burst of nail envy immediately. Can you book a manicure at such short notice at night? Probably not, but you can always give yourself a perfect home manicure. Here’s how:
Trim, Buff, and File
Clip nails to desired length and file to get the shape you want (round, square, or somewhere in the middle.) Always file in one direction to prevent nails from splitting. Use a nail buffer to buff the sides and tops of your nails lightly.
Push Back Cuticles
Rub oil or lotion on your cuticles to soften them and push them back with a cuticle stick. Avoid clipping them, as doing so can lead to infection.
Use a hand scrub on your hands, forearms, and wrists to exfoliate and restore moisture. Clean under nails with a nail brush, and wash and dry hands thoroughly.
Apply Base Coat
This is an important step necessary for hydrating nails and preventing chipping. Nail expert Essie Weingarten of Essie nail polish recommends waiting two minutes between coats, base coat included.
Take this opportunity to moisturize your hands to avoid smudging later. Finish by swiping each nail with nail polish remover.
Apply Nail Polish
For maximum coverage, try and get the brush all the way to the corners the nails and down to the cuticles. Complete coverage will make a better base for the second coat.
Apply Second Coat
Use the two-minute rule to wait for polish to dry, then apply the second coat of color. Sheer nail polish may require a third coat.
The topcoat is important for protecting your colorant adding shine to your nails.
Clean Nails and Let Dry
Touch up any stray nail polish marks by wrapping a small piece of cotton soaked in polish remover around the end of your cuticle stick and going over the edges of your nails. You can also use nail polish remover pads, but they should be folded into a triangular shape for better precision. Let nails dry for 5 minutes and Instagram here you come! (Feel free to embellish.)
Got manicure tricks? Let us know! We love to hear it!