Good looking nails help to make your hands look beautiful and draw attention away from any sun spots or wrinkles that they may have. What are the steps to take to have this? Some of these tips I have already said in previous posts, but I think it is worth repeating.
Start with the nail shape. If your cuticle bed is round or oval, don’t make your nails square or pointed. That does not flatter your hands. (Feet are different. They should be cut straight across to prevent painful ingrown toenails.)
Always file smoothly in one direction. If you go back and forth, the sawing effect will shred the different layers of the protein and keratin that the nails are made from. This will lead to peeling and breakage.
Did you know that if you are out of polish remover, as an alternative you can paint on a heavy coat of base or top coat, and then wipe if off immediately. You won’t have the cleaned up look you would get with remover, but it will give take off the color so that you can add a different one.
Clean Your Nails
Clean your nails before you polish. Mix two parts rubbing alcohol to one part water and wipe it on the nails to prepare them for polish rather than polish remover. Some removers will leave behind a residue that prevents polish from sticking.
A good base coat makes color go on more smoothly and last longer. It will also help to prevent staining of your nails if you are using a bright or dark color. If your nails are ridged or weak, use a base coat that does multiple things. Use one that also gives uneven nails a smooth and even surface and which repair damaged nails and promotes strength and growth.
When you apply the polish you should brush the polish vertically up the nail to the free edge first. Then paint horizontally right along the tip to seal the color where it will be the most apt to chip or wear off. The first coat is the most important.
This should be a bit heavier to lay down the color, then apply the second coat very lightly. If you do two thick layers, this can lead to smudges. To finish, use a top coat that will seal in color and also add extra shine. This will also protect the nail and help your polish to last longer.
If you get any polish on the nail bed, take an angled eyeliner brush to remove it. Dip the brush into the remover and it will easily clean up the excess. When you use an orange stick wrapped in cotton, you can leave fuzz, which can turn out to be a mess!
To help minimize nicks as your layers of polish dry, about 5 minutes after the top coat is applied, daub on a bit of cuticle gel. This will make the top layer slick as your nails finish drying. (If you apply some sort of oil daily, it will help to keep your nails flexible, which can prevent chips and breaks.)
Be really patient while your polish dries. I know, this can be the worst part of the manicure! Don’t depend on nail dryers, as they only will set the top coat. You need to air dry for about 15 minutes and then be careful for at least an hour.
To help your polish last, reapply top coat or nail strengthener every two to three days after. This will extend your manicure and retain the shine on your nails, so that they continue to look like you just did them.
To take off the polish, soak a cotton balls or pads in remover, then press one onto each finger. Once each nail is covered, go back and start to wipe. The polish will come off much easier. Now you can start over!
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