Photo Credit : Dazzle Dry
I wanted tips directly from a nail care specialist and that is what I got from Silva Nahabedian, Director of Education for Dazzle Dry. We are all home and I know when my nails look good I feel good. So here it is for you, step by step, how to achieve the perfect at home manicure. Pour a glass of wine, put on some good music and pamper yourself.
The first step for a great manicure is a little obvious, but, start with clean hands! Removing current polish with an acetone or non-acetone polish remover, and to prevent the color from bleeding all over the fingers, saturate the cotton round and allow it to sit on the nail for a few seconds. Wiggle and then pull.
Next up is filing. Most women don’t know this, but you should never file nails when they are wet. When you soak your nails, the natural nail plate expands, in turn, causing a separation of the layers of keratin when filing which can lead to splitting and peeling nails. So keep your nails dry when you file and use a nail file designed for natural nails such as a crystal file or a 100/180 grit mild nail file that is not too aggressive to prevent nails from splitting. For the movement, go from one direction or side to center until the desired length and shape are achieved.
To allow for a smoother polish application, and lift away pesky dead cuticle tissue, here is how to safely push back your cuticles. Apply a cuticle softener around the nail base and side walls one hand at a time and soak for about 3 minutes in warm soapy water. Wipe off the cuticle remover and gently push back cuticles from side to center using a cuticle pusher or an orangewood stick.
Make sure to be careful when pushing the cuticle and nipping around the base of the nail. There is the cuticle, but then there is the eponychium. This is live tissue that should NOT be cut because it is a protective barrier that prevents bacteria and microbes from entering the body. Make sure to gently nip cuticle tissue that is loose or sticking up, but don’t overdo it.
The next steps is to buff the nails. I like to use a 240-grit buffer, and gently buff the sides of the nail, around the base of the cuticle, down the center and free edge of nail plate (the white part that grows beyond the tip of your finger). Buffing helps to smooth out any imperfections and allow for a flawless polish application.
Once you have groomed and buffed the nails, they will be thirsty for moisture. Apply a nail or cuticle conditioning oil or cream. Make sure to take about 8 seconds and rub into each nail to stimulate blood flow and oxygen to promote healthy growth, keep nails flexible, and prevent breakage. I like to use nail oil twice a day to keep the skin and nails well hydrated.
Now is a good time to apply moisturizer to the hands and massage in.
To ensure that the nail lacquer will adhere to the natural nail plate, use a nail brush with soap and water to remove oil and lotion from the nail.
Last, but certainly not least, apply two coats of Base Coat and let each layer dry for about a minute. Then pick your pigment and apply two coats, letting each layer dry for a minute as well. If you get polish on your skin, clean up as you go using an orangewood stick dipped in polish remover. Lastly, apply a generous coat of Top Coat to seal everything in and give it a high-gloss shine.