As you may have noticed, the blog looks a little different today. I did some “remodeling” over the weekend to polish things up and to make room for my partnership with the Village Green Network. Pretty soon, you’ll start seeing some ads on my sidebar. Just a heads up!
For today’s mani Monday, I just want to cover how I do a basic manicure. Since the series opened to other bloggers, I’ve had many of you say you’d love to join – if only you could manage to paint your nails! This makes my nail-polish-painting heart sad!
Every girl should know how to do a decent manicure! Hopefully today, I can teach you a few tricks. This is seriously the “idiots” guide to a manicure, if you will. Since I’m a visual person, here’s my basic steps.
Basic Mani Steps
1. Buff: I always start with buffing my nails. Buffing them makes for a smooth surface for polish to stick to and evens out any ridges.
2. File: shape and file your nails however you like. I am usually going square, but my nails were short today, so I rounded them.
Also, get a GOOD nail file. Don’t use nail files that aren’t working anymore or are too worn down. Replace files often for the best results.
3. Cuticles: I push back and remove any cuticles with Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. This stuff rocks. You put it around your cuticles, let it sit for about 30 seconds, then use a cuticle stick to push back/scrape away any excess. Works like a charm.
4. Scrub: After buffing, filing, and removing cuticles, my nails need a good scrub. This gets your nails as clean as possible before applying polish. You want clean nails before polish goes on.
5. Pick a Color: This may actually be the hardest part of the process! Today I went with my favorite color ever, a pretty mint green (Mint Sorbet 340 Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear).
6. Coat #1: Apply your first coat.
To apply, start with the brush in the middle of the nail, not too close to the nail bed/cuticle area. Always start farther away than you want. Polish looks better applied a little farther away from the nail bed rather than accidentally ON the nail bed.
Use light, short strokes with not too much polish and light pressure. I usually dab my brush back in the bottle at least 3 times for one nail (that’s how little polish I start off with). Using too much polish at once is what leads to a mess.
As well as avoiding the nailbed, don’t worry about getting too close to the sides either. Slowly get closer and closer to the nail bed and sides of your nail until you’re happy with how it looks.
Most important of all – GO SLOWLY. Painting your nails is not a race!
7. Coat #2: I always apply a second coat for durability and a deeper color. Only apply after the first coat is 100% dry.
8. Touch Up: Use a Q-tip and some nail polish remover to touch up any mistakes. Saturate the Q-tip in nail polish remover so all you have to do is lightly dab at the mistake area.
If you really need help in the boo-boo department, there are pointed Q-tips that will really help you clean up your nail beds.
9. Top Coat: After both coats are very dry, apply a good top coat. I never used to think top coat was important, but if you’re going to invest time in doing your nails, they should last right?
Some good top coats are Essie No Chips Ahead or Seche Vite.
10. Enjoy! Marvel at your new mani and try not to scream when you get your first chip, scratch or broken nail this week
- Pick a time of day to paint your nails when you will not be rushed or tempted to start doing something with wet nails.
- What you do while your nails dry matters. My favorite thing to do when I wait for them to dry is go on Pinterest. It forces me not to use my hands in any way that will disturb my nails. I just go on Pinterest and look at stuff (no typing).
- As I said above, painting your nails is not a race. Having patience is hard, but taking your time is worth it. Go as slowly as you need to to get the look you want.
- If you need to, let one hand dry COMPLETELY before painting the other. You don’t want to risk messing up your one hand while it’s still wet.
- Give it time to dry. Let the polish dry thoroughly between coats and up to an hour before a top coat.
- Practice makes perfect. Lame saying, but it’s true. I was once terrible at doing my nails too. Now that I do it every week, I don’t even think about it and it comes very naturally. The more you do it, the better and more patient you will get.
The best tips I have are to be patient and keep trying. Hopefully these tips helped you learn something new!
Now let’s see those manicures!