Intensive At-Home Manicure

I love nothing more than a fresh coat of polish on my nails! There is nothing like looking down at your nails and having no chips or imperfections showing in the varnish. However in recent times I have started to take proper care of my hands and treated myself to at-home manicures. I don't mean just removing the old, chipped paint and coating nails with a new colour. I mean taking care with your cuticles and skin: the whole shebang. This is great to do when you are in the middle of a Netflix binge and can sit in front of the telly or computer for an hour or so and tend to your nails while you watch! So here are my steps to giving yourself the best DIY manicure:

1. Remove old nail polish: if you want to be kind to your nails, try to stick with acetone-free nail polish remover. And to state the obvious, if your hands are dirty, first step would be to wash them, then remove polish.

2. Clip & File: Cut your nails down to the desired length and then file into shape. Try to always file in the one direction to prevent damage to your nails.

3. Oil & Soak: apply cuticle oil to your nail beds and massage in. Grab a bowl of warm water and soak your nails for a few minutes (don't wait until your fingers resemble prunes!). You can use coconut oil to do this as well and even pop a few extra drops of oil into the warm water. Your hands will feel soft and moisturised after this step.

4. Push & Clean: Use an orange stick to gently push cuticles back. You can also use this, or a metal file tip to clean under the nail. I know it is a bit gross to talk about but it is important! It is much better to do this after soaking the nails to prevent harshly scraping away the underside of your nail.

5. Buff: If you do not have one, I would recommend picking up a four-sided buffing block from your local pharmacy or beauty store. I have a mini block from Sephora (not pictured) which has a side to file, another to remove ridges, one to buff and another side to shine the nail. It works a treat and provides a lovely, smooth surface on which to apply polish.

6. Moisturise: apply a small amount of hand cream and massage into your hands and around the nail bed. People say the nail should not have any creams or oils present before polish application, however I have found my polish is unaffected from adding in this step. My cuticles however are much better off from this extra step of moisture. If it worries you, grab a cotton bud, dip into nail polish remover and run it over the nails before polish application.

7. Base & Colour: Now comes the fun part. Apply a thin coat of base polish to the nail. I use Help Me Grow by Essie (pictured below) which I have been really impressed with. It prevents nails from staining with colour and I swear my nails are stronger and longer from using this. Pick your weapon/ colour of choice and apply two thin layers, allowing time to dry in between coats. To test if they are dry, tap your two pinky nails together- if you can feel any tackiness or sticking, they are not dry enough! You can finish with a top coat however I have been foregoing this step as it always seems to re-wet the polish underneath.

Here is my colour collection I have been frequently wearing over the past few months. The Sally Hansen polishes are recent additions and are designed to treat the nail while wearing (they are infused with Argan oil). I haven't tested them out properly with regards to chipping however the Essie polishes are definitely a great option. My best run was wearing Go Ginza for 6 days before chipping!

From Left to Right: Essie Help Me Grow Base Coat, Essie Bikini So Teeny, Essie Go Ginza, Essie Haute in the Heat, Sally Hansen Colour Therapy Blushed Petal, Sally Hansen Colour Therapy Steely Serene, Essie Mademoiselle, Essie Lady Like, Essie Sole Mate

I hope you enjoyed this post and give this manicure a try on the weekend! I know it can be hard to find time- after all, this post is being typed out by nails that currently have four coats of polish on them. I could not be bothered did not have time to remove the original colour before trying out one of the new Sally Hansen colours. Oh the hypocrisy! 

Until next time...
1 comment on "Intensive At-Home Manicure"
  1. This is my first time here. I find a lot of interesting things in your blog especially that I'm not the only one
    dip nails


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