Manicured nails make a great impression. For most of us, long nails dazzled with jewels just don't match our DIY'er lifestyle. In this edition of DIY spa treatment, I'll show you how to achieve a spa quality manicure that you can live with and easily maintain.
What you'll need
- Nail brush
- Nail clippers
- Emery board
- Nail polish remover
- Colored polish
- Clear top coat polish
After the break I'll give you the step by step for your at home manicure. While I am now painfully aware that I am not a hand model, the gallery pictures illustrate each step along the way.
How to manicure your nails
Manicure(click thumbnails to view gallery)
Maintain your manicure
- Wash your hands and remove old polish
With a cotton ball and nail polish remover, clean away any old polish. Pay particular attention to the side ridges where polish can get trapped. Make sure your hands are clean and your nails scrubbed. Use hot water to loosen the cuticles.
- Trim your nails
Nails can grow at different speeds. Some nails are more prone to breakage than others. Trim you nails so that they are all relatively the same length.
- File your nails
Use an emery board to file and shape your nails. Avoid a sawing motion which can cause flaking and breakage. Buff the nail surface. This evens out any ridging and prepares the nail for color.
- Push back cuticles
Push your cuticles back with a cuticle remover. These are short sticks with a pointed end. You'll find them at any drug store. Your skin should be soft from the hand wash, but if it is uncomfortable you might want to soak your hands in hot water for a few minutes first.
- Wash your hands again
Your hands will need another good scrub at this stage. Loose cuticle skin or nail dust that you filed will get in the way of your manicure.
- Apply colored polish
Some people insist on a base coat, personally I just don't have that much time to spend on my nails and I haven't found it to be necessary as long as I prepared my nails properly. Carefully apply your first coat of colored polish. Start at the base and paint upwards for an even coat. Wait 10 minutes or until it is completely dry, and add a second coat.
- Fix your mistakes
The best way to fix mistakes is with a polish remover dipped q-tip. This lets you easily and accurately remove any stray polish without smudging the finished area.
- Apply the top coat
A quality top coat will save you from constant touch-ups. This seals the polish, strengthens nails and prevents chipping.
- Use a top coat
This takes most of the maintenance off your hands. A quality top coat will protect your polish and keep nails looking bright.
- Keep it simple
A simple color will have a longer life. Short or medium length nails will be less likely to break and need re-painting.
If you can't get to the spa, follow these steps for a spa quality manicure at home. Choose a neutral color and enjoy your clean, manicured nails suitable for ever day. If you have a special night planned, spice it up with a vibrant color. Whichever look you're going for, preparing the nail is key.
If your manicure inspires you to try some other DIY spa treatments, have a look at the avocado deep condition
and the apple and oatmeal face mask
. Next, I will test out some homemade moisturizer.