I’ve always enjoyed painting my nails. Its something that I was doing from a very young age, albeit I was never very “good” at it.
Well, roll on my teenage years, I was drawn to Gel and Acrylic manicures, which not only cost a bomb but were firstly, BAD for your nails and secondly, you had to wait for an appointment to get them fixed when something was wrong. Ugh, I don’t like waiting and I don’t like things beyond my control.
The last time I had my nails done with Acrylic was for my 21st birthday, and I decided then and there, almost two years ago that enough was enough, and it was simply not worth the hassle.
I am lucky to have very strong nails naturally. Thanks mum and dad. So, my investments in quality products started, it’s not stopped, and I’m not sure if it ever will because nail quality nail polish is like quality makeup.
I wouldn’t say I’ve perfected an at-home manicure, but I do it frequently, about once a week (rarely twice a week, but sometimes I have to dependent on what I’ve been doing).
My essential tools
BASE COAT. Although I do not use this all the time, as a base coat, it is an essential item to have.
NAIL POLISH. Invest in quality over quantity. Quality nail polish’s like OPI and Essie last 10 times longer than the cheaper variants like Essence, Maybelline, any “cheap” drug store brand.
NAIL FILE AND NAIL CLIPPERS. I got the nail file that I use from Premiere Dead Sea, you know those annoying people in the shopping malls which have stalls – not shops and stop you and convince you that their product is the best? Those. My nail clippers are more like “nail pliers” but they work wonders on strong nails.
NAIL BUFFER. I got mine also from the Premiere Dead Sea people, it works really well but really not worth the asking price that they ask for it. You can get quality buffers at Dischem and Clicks for half the price.
CUTICLE PUSHER. Not the most pleasant activity in the world but if moisturise your hands/cuticles often it is not too bad, plush it makes your nail polish last a few days longer.
EAR BUDS. These are fantastic for cleaning up the edges where you might of been a bit paint happy, and makes your nail polish look nice and tidy.
You are going to need a minimum of 30 minutes, but do not rush.
1. Make sure your nails are clean and there is no polish from your last application on your nails, buff them gently.
2. File your nails to your preferred shape. I generally go for a Squoval shape, but this is ultimately up to you.
3. If you are going to work on your cuticles, it is now the time to.
4. If you are going to apply your base coat, apply it now. One broad stroke down the middle and 2 smaller strokes on either side.
5. Time for the colour nail polish. Get a little drip of colour at the end of the brush and get it on your nail fast. Use the same 3 stroke method as the base coat. The goal here is to minimize the amount of times the brush is touching the nail, because that makes streaks. Once this is done, repeat.
6. When applying your top coat it is key to get a lot of product on the brush, so try get a little “bead” of polish at the end of the brush, drop it on the nail and watch in amazement as it glides right over. Don’t watch for too long though. Remember – 3 strokes is key. Watch in amazement as all your weird mistakes, bubbles and streaky bits disappear. Top coat is really the best.
7. Wait patiently for your nails to dry. Watch some Toddlers & Tiaras, or if you are now in rush, place your hands into some ice cold water for as long as you can stand it which will instantly dry your nail polish.
8. If you have any nail polish on your knuckles, cuticles, nose, wherever – dip your cotton ear bud in nail polish remover and wipe it over the out of place polish. It’s like magic.
And that’s it. It’s really simple….