10 Tips for the Perfect Home Manicure

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I love a good home manicure. I collect nail polish like it’s going out of fashion, so am always keen to get creative and paint up a storm. You want something that you can show off, and that doesn’t always mean just getting the colour right, you’ve got to get the application right also.

Follow these tips for the perfect home manicure…

1. File Away These Tips
File your nails to match the shape of your cuticles, this is the most natural look you can go for. Be sure to file only in one direction, this helps prevent chipping and peeling of the polish and sometimes nail.

2. Clean Your Nails
Even if your nails are unpainted, soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and swipe it across your nails. This will remove any excess oils that can cause the polish to peel.

3. Don’t Shake it like a Polaroid Picture
Don’t shake the bottle! Instead, rub it between your palms to mix the polish. This lessens the chance of annoying air bubbles when applying.

4. Hold the Brush Correctly
Gain control by holding the brush between your thumb and middle finger, with your forefinger resting on the top of the cap.

5. Keep it Thin
To get the best results, keep your layers nice and thin; this includes your base and top coats. You should only need to swipe your nails three times per coat, one on each side, and once in the middle.

6. Give Your Tips Some Attention
Any chipping starts from your tips, and of course, as this is where your nails are exposed the most. Avoid this by painting right to the end and over your tips.

7. Fix Any Mishaps
It’s near impossible to walk away with a clean manicure. For any bits that get on your skin or cuticle, simply soak a cottonbud in nail polish remover and carefully rub.

8. Speed It Up
Speed up the drying process by either investing in Dry Drops (OPI, Orly and other top brands do them) or using a hair dryer. Dry Drops ensure your polish is dry within 15 minutes, and makes the finished product shine beautifully. To use a hair dryer, ensure it is on the coldest setting, and held at least 30cm away from your nails, hold for 1 minute.

9. Keep on Top of it
Keep your manicure looking fresh by applying a top coat on every second day. For a pedicure, once a week is fine.

10. Fix Your Chips
Once your nails start to chip, your whole manicure is ruined (or is it just me that overreacts like that?). Repair a chip by smoothing with a nail buffer, then fill in with polish again, and give your whole nail a top coat. The smoother you buff, the less you’ll notice.

Christine Stucki