I am not one of those lucky women that have the money or let's face it the time to get regular salon manicures. I am thrilled with the way that my nails look now, but I know that in just a few hours the polish will start to chip. Unfortunately, I am just not that graceful. Because of my lack of funds, I have mastered some tips to do my own at home manicures.
The first step to doing an at home manicure, is to put the kids to bed. Well, not really, but it helps to get the polish on evenly if I am left alone to fully attend to my nails, without having to wipe a runny nose, or change a diaper wile filing my nails. All joking aside though, I use one of those one minute manicure products to scrub my hands. My favorite product is by Beauty Control. It's a great exfoliate, but it also has essential oils in it. The oils keep my hands feeling smooth and silky for hours, even after repeated hand washing. Also the oils really help to moisturize not only my hands, but also my cuticles. This eliminates that time consuming step of having to soak your hands in a bowl of water. Really, who has time for that? Incidentally, while your cuticles are soft you should push them back. If you have time you can use either an orange stick or a cuticle pusher. If I am in a hurry, I will just use my finger nail. It's not perfect, but it will do in a pinch.
Sometimes, that's the extent of my at home manicure. If, however, I am lucky and have a little more time on my hands, I will proceed with shaping my nails. Shaping can be tricky. I have read that you should stroke the emery board in the same direction, rather than back and forth. This supposedly prevents damage to the nail. However, yesterday, I had to file my nails while driving down the highway on my way to a rehearsal dinner. I didn't care too much about going in one direction. At least not with the emery board anyway. Also, I noticed that when I got a salon manicure, she didn't bother to follow that piece of advice either.
The last and most important step in an at home manicure, is of course the polish. I have also read that you should try to put the polish on in thin even coats. Three brush strokes is supposedly the best method, one stroke for each side, and one stroke right down the middle of the nail. Realistically, the best tip I can give you is to get a good polish.