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Get The Look 26 June 2020

How to Nail an At-Home Manicure

Here’s how to achieve a nail-bar quality manicure, from the comfort of your home.

It’s no doubt that COVID times have been hard on our hands. Excessive hand washing combined with the closure of nail salons may have left your fingers and nails in some desperate need of TLC.


Words By Brittany Lyons

Step 1: Prep

Start off by washing your hands, then submerging them into some warm water to soften the nailbed area. Once you’re feeling softened and a little pruny, it’s then time to go in and prep your fingers. Prepping the nails should include trimming the cuticle area, pushing the cuticles back, cutting the nails to the right length and filing and buffing to your desired shape.

When cutting both cuticles and nails themselves, I find the best approach is to go gradually. Uniformity is best reached with a slow hand, take your time and play with nail shapes before you land on the perfect one.

Step 2: Base and Dry

Now that the labour-intensive work is done, let’s get these nails looking beautiful. A base coat will act as a strengthener and protectant to your natural nail, as well as the foundation to your manicure. One coat of base should do the trick.

Waiting for polish to dry is as interesting as watching paint dry, but even more frustrating because we need our hands for almost everything. To speed up the wait, we recommend a quick-drying agent. Typically formulated as a spray or drops, these magic products will halve the drying time, and allow you to get back to your life as soon as possible.

If you’ve managed to get some base somewhere it doesn’t belong, nail polish remover wipes are a quick and easy tool to clean up any mess.

Step 3: Colours

The fun starts here, with the possibilities being endless. What colour are you feeling today? Sparkly, chrome, clear? Me? I typically opt for a warm nude or fire engine red. For the application of colour, the trick with polish is: less is more.

Wipe excess polish off the end of the brush and try and cover the nail area with one or two brush strokes. When polishing with colour, 2 or 3 coats is best. It’s no surprise that your preferred hand is going to get a polish job a little sub-par than your other hand. A good rule of thumb is to go slow and steady when using your non-dominant hand. Mistake? Nail polish remover will fix that.

Step 4: Top and Nourish

With the help of your fast-drying agent between each coat, your nails should be coloured and dry. Time to seal these beauties in with a bit of shine and call upon a top coat. A top coat will guarantee your colour longevity, strength and an opportunity to fix any texture issues from step 3.

To finish, apply a cuticle oil and hand cream to nourish and hydrate.

This is the opportune time to delight in a little bit of self-care. Did you know there are over 35 pressure points in the hands? Once you’ve lathered on some luxurious hand cream, explore the ins and outs of your hands with a releasing massage.

Voila. Now it’s time to admire your work while you’re typing away.

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