A proper manicure is like a firm handshake: it says that you are a confident, polished person with enough time to spend on yourself.
But (and there’s always one), not many people have the time or the nerve to make an appointment to go to the nail salon. We have tried and failed to make to it into a religious experience (kudos to the ones who do), so we understand.
This time we dedicated our efforts to find the best methods used by many at home, and get the professional results in the comfort of your chair.
- First thing’s first, always soak the tip of you fingers in warm water. This way your nails will soften and this prevents them from cracking (or breaking) when you’re trimming them. Better yet, do them (if you can) after you’ve taken a shower/bath.
- Always trim your nails to a length you can manage. Use nail clippers, or scissors and then file them with a nail file to your desired shape. We go through so many different kinds, but the best ones so far are Revlon’s. They’re easy to use, and you can peel off the old file when it becomes dull and inefficient.
- Buff out their surface with a buffer such as this one. After you’re done with this step, you will get shiny nails, and maybe forgo the nail polish altogether. We started doing this about fifteen years ago, and we still love it. The best thing about the buffer is that if you do decide to use any color, it goes on smoothly because your nail’s surface is even.
- NEVER, NEVER, never cut your cuticles. For our friend’s wedding we decided that we needed to have our nails done professionally. Big mistake. The girl that was doing our nails cut too much skin, which made it for a painful recovery. A day before the wedding. And we were the bridesmaids. Instead, gently push back your cuticles, either with the cuticle pusher, or with your fingers.
- Always put any kind of oil on your cuticles. Despite the offers we get from ALL stores and their claims that they sell the best of the best oils, we found that they all have the same purpose: they provide moisture to your skin around the nails. So if you have coconut, jojoba, almond, olive, argan, marigold or another fancy oil, use it. Use it before bedtime, after being in the cold or in the sun for too long, or anytime you feel that you need to moisturize your cuticles.
- If you’re prepping your nails for some color, wipe your nails with some rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad. This way you don’t have bubbles when you apply your color. Then, apply a base coat and let it dry. You protect your nails from whatever color you choose (even if it’s Essie’s Aruba Blue) and when you’re ready to change it, you won’t have fingernails looking like you’ve stuck both your hands on the elevator door.
- Keep your nail polishes in the fridge. The cold environment prolongs their lives, and prevents bubbles from forming when you apply them on your nails.
- If you got some discoloration on your nails, like we do after enjoying a pomegranate or peeling beets with no gloves, squeeze out some lemon juice, add baking soda or Kosher salt and scrub your nails gently with a cotton pad (or a cotton ball). Or use an old toothbrush and some whitening toothpaste and gently “brush” your nails. Soon you’ll see your own nail color evenly on all of your fingers.
- If you’re doing your manicure in front of the TV, put on something that you really enjoy. How often do you get that at the salon (we never did, the news channel was always on). And sing to the jingles if you can.
We really hope that these few simple tricks will give you a reason to form this new habit and stick with it (like the one we have about eating veggies all the time).
Be happy, be merry, be beautiful