Friday, December 21, 2012

Tips For The Perfect DIY Manicure

If you do your nails at home, here's a few tip you could possibly need to ensure a salon-quality manicure.

1. Fix a broken nail using a teabag and nail glue. See how on my blog here! 
Can't even tell there is a piece of tea bag or a crack on the nail! 

2. Use ice water to dry your nails in three minutes or run cold water over you nails, the cold hardens the polish making it dry faster.

3. Take off your nail polish in less than 5 minutes using only 1 cotton ball. See how here!

4. Spray nails with oil spray to set your manicure and prevent smudges.

5. When applying a top coat, run the brush along the top edge (non-cuticle side) of the nail.

6. When applying a top coat, run the brush along the top edge (non-cuticle side) of the nail.

7. Soak your nails in a solution of hot water, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda for about a minute. Or you could also put some whitening toothpaste on a toothbrush and scrub the stains off your nail.

8. Erase mistakes by dipping a tiny brush into nail polish remover.

Use an old paintbrush or an eyeliner brush (perhaps the felt tip of an old liquid liner that dried up?) that you don't care for anymore, a new brush works just fine too.

9. The first coat of chunky glitter polishes should be dabbed, not brushed on. This will help to distribute the glitter evenly and get the big chunks where you want them. If all else fails, use a toothpick to move the chunks of glitter around. Check out this youtube video to see how it's done!
Apply multiple thin coats instead of one thick coat. A thick coat of nail polish will only dry at the top layer, leaving your manicure vulnerable to smudges.

10. Apply Aquaphor or Vaseline to cuticles to protect your skin from errant nail polish strokes. But be VERY careful! Any ointment that gets on the nail will prevent the polish from sticking. See the magic here!

11. Learn how you remove a gel manicure at home here, this also is a neat trick to get glitter polish off. 

12. My fiance thinks I'm crazy for this one but you can fix a smudge by licking it.
If you accidentally smudge a nail while it's still wet, you can easily fix it by licking your finger and gently smoothing the smudge out (you can even use your tongue to smooth). The saliva reacts with the nail polish to soften and blend the surface. (Remember: LICK don't EAT.)
A product called smudge repair works similarly.

13. Soak nails in a solution of water and white vinegar before applying nail polish. You could also just wipe your nails using a paper towel dampened with vinegar. Vinegar will strip the nails of any oils or moisturizers left over from polish remover in order to prevent bubbles. It helps the polish adhere better, therefore prolonging your manicure.

14. Use VapoRub for nail infections. The ingredient thymol works on bacterial and yeast infections of the nail plate.

15. Apply thick hand cream before removing polish if you have pale skin. If you have pale skin, taking off dark nail polish can stain your hands and make you look like you just killed someone. 
16. Apply a thick hand cream before removing the nail polish. Soak a cotton pad in remover and place on each nail for ten seconds, one by one. Apply pressure and slide the pad off each nail. Go back and clean up with a new cotton pad soaked in remover to get anything you might have missed.
17. Try a rubberized base coat to make your polish last longer. The rubberized effect helps to adhere polish
18. If your nail polish is B3F, make sure your base coat and top coat are, too.

B3F stands for "Free from Formaldehyde, DBP & Toluene," a standard which many new nail polishes have adopted. If you've ever woken up the morning after a manicure with smudges and dents on your nails, this could be the culprit. If the top coat isnt B3F, it will dry much faster than the polish underneath.

19. If the air is humid, wait extra long for your nails to dry. Humidity can do all sorts of nasty things to a manicure, including the dreaded "bubbling" issue. If it's extra humid outside, make sure you wait twice as long before doing anything that might put dents in your nails.

20. Don't sit near a fan. You might think it'll help the nail polish dry faster, but the drafty air will just make bubbles and ruin your polish.
21. Use nail polish thinner (NOT nail polish remover!) to revive thick, goopy bottles of nail polish.

You may have read that acetone does the trick, but despite working in the short run, it will ruin the polish eventually. This nail polish thinner is $5 from Amazon.

22. To help stop biting your nails dip the tips in vanilla extract or fingernail polish remover. They have a rancid, bitter taste that provides a very potent reminder not to bite your nails.

23. Use cuticle oil. Keeping cuticles hydrated and healthy lead to harder, faster growing well maintained nails. Apply a very small amount to each cuticle and work into the cuticle, nail & surrounding skin. The oil absorbs nicely into the skin after a few minutes and is great for elbows as well. Cuticle oils are most effective as emergency moisturizers to repair damaged cuticles, especially in cases when the nail is so dry it's cracking and splitting. You can find some here.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you find this post helpful.
Feel free to share any tips I may not know, I'd love to hear them!

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  1. Those are helpful tips in creating the perfect manicure. Another tip: to get a smooth polish, make sure that you completely remove the remnants of your previous manicure before applying the base coat. Particles left from the previous polish can make the new polish look bumpy.

    >Lakisha Gelb

    1. Oh yeah, unless I am out and about and am just doing a touch up I always apply on clean fresh nails with no lotions or oils on the nails since that makes the polish dry slower.

  2. Replies
    1. You're very welcome, glad I could help!

  3. That nail polish removing tutorial you linked to looks awesome. I think I'm going to try it within the next couple days when I change my polish.