A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Salon-Quality Manicure at Home

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Salon-Quality Manicure at Home

We all know that paying for a manicure every week or every other week can take a serious toll on your bank account. Follow these 10 easy steps to give yourself a salon-quality manicure at a fraction of the cost.

1. Remove current nail polish (if any)

When choosing which polish remover to buy, keep in mind that non-acetone nail polish removers are gentler than acetone-based ones, but the acetone-based remover will work far faster and be in contact with the skin for a shorter period of time than the non-acetone based removers. If you are trying to remove gel nail polish at home you will need cotton balls, acetone-based nail polish remover, aluminum foil, and a nail file. Buff the surface of your mani with a nail file to remove the shine, then soak a cotton ball in acetone-based remover and place it directly on top of your nail. Follow by wrapping each finger with a small piece of foil and after 10 to 15 minutes, the gel manicure should slide right off with the cotton ball. If some residue remains stuck to your nail, you can use a wooden or metal stick to gently work it off

2. Shape and buff your nails

Clip your nails if necessary, then gently file them into your desired shape. Make sure to only file your nails in one direction! Smooth the tops and sides of the nails with a buffer to ensure an even surface, but don’t forget, if you buff your nails too smooth, the polish won’t adhere to your nail as well.

For your shaping and buffing needs, we like the Equate Beauty Total Nail Care System you can purchase here.

3. Push back your cuticles

Soak your fingers in a bowl of warm water with either a drop of gentle face cleanser or shampoo. Soaking the cuticles before pushing back or cutting them makes the whole process a lot easier and a whole lot more relaxing. After soaking your fingers, apply a cuticle remover or lotion to your cuticles so soften them up a little more. Once soft, push your cuticles back gently. You should avoid cutting your cuticles since your cuticles protect your nails from bacteria. If you must trim your cuticles, be careful NOT to pull, lift, tear, rip, force, or cut into the cuticle in any way. All you need to do is nip off the free edge with a pair of metal cuticle nippers. You can use these cuticle nippers to remove any hangnails as well.

4. Exfoliate and wash your hands

Exfoliate your hands, wrists, and forearms with a hand scrub that eliminates the dead skin cells while replenishing moisture. Wash hands thoroughly afterward and dry them thoroughly.

Check out this DIY hand scrub recipe here.

5. Moisturize

Apply a moisturizer all over your hands and arms to lock in moisture. Before you can continue on to the painting, you must remove anything oily from the nail. Wipe a cotton swab or pad soaked in nail polish remover over the nail’s surface to remove any residue.

6. Apply a base coat

Apply a base coat to hydrate and protect nails and to prevent chipping. Wait two minutes before continuing on to the next step.

7. Pain nails in layers

Be sure to brush all the way down to the cuticle and into the corners of the nail. Wait at least two minutes between each coat. A base coat, two coats of polish, and a top coat should do the trick. Using a nail dryer can help to speed the process along. It is imperative that your nails are completely dry between each coat.

To expedite the drying process, check out the Equate Nail Dryer here.

8. Apply a top coat

The top coat protects your manicure from chipping and it adds shine to your nails.

9. Correct any mistakes

Use a cotton swab soaked in nail polish remover to wipe off any nail polish that may be lingering around the edges of your nail.

10. Reapply moisturizer

Once your nails are completely dry, reapply your moisturizer to keep your hands and nails healthy-looking.

Voilà! You’re left with gorgeous nails!

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