Applying nail polish evenly and neatly can be a borderline impossible feat sometimes – colour ends up on your cuticles, manicures take hours to dry and even if it does look semi-decent, it never seems to last more than 2 days! In this article, we’ll take you through the steps to achieving a perfect at-home manicure, every time.
Step 1: Nail care – buff, file and cut
A smooth canvas makes for a flawless piece of art, and that’s exactly the case with your nails. Ensure the tips of the nails are cut and filed, nails are smooth and buffed over, and cuticles are neatly cut. Sally Hansen No More Ridges Professional Salon Smoothing Block ($4.95, available from Priceline) and Manicare Buffer 4-Way Block ($8.49, available from Priceline) are ingenious tools to sort out your buffing, filing and smoothing needs.
Step 2: Base coat
A good quality base coat can do wonders for filling in ridges and evening out the texture of the nail. It also prevents staining and improves the longevity of your manicure. Many base coats nowadays are fortified with vitamins and proteins to strengthen your nail with each application to prevent future breaking, splitting or peeling.
Step 3: Nail colour
Now for the fun bit – painting a coloured polish on your nails. Firstly, shake the bottle to ensure a smooth texture. Push the brush of the polish towards your cuticle (base of the nail), leaving a small gap between the colour and the ridge of your nail. Next, smooth out a thin layer of colour to the very tip. Avoid touching the outside perimeter of the nail with colour to prevent mess. Repeat again for another layer.
Step 4: Clean up
Use a small makeup/paint brush or cotton tip soaked in nail polish remover to quickly clean any uneven or bumpy edges around the nail and surrounding skin.
Step 5: Top coat
Once dry, set the entire manicure with a thin layer of top coat to create a high-shine impact. Top coats are also used to resist chipping, prevent fading of colour and increase the longevity of your manicure.
Optional: Quick dry your nails
Using fabulous lifesaving products such as Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops ($3.95, available from Priceline) or Revlon Liquid Quick Dry ($15.95, available from Priceline), apply 1-2 drops on each nail to speed up the usually long, arduous drying process.
Images via priceline.com.au, beautyheaven.com.au, folica.com