That’s right beauties just what the doctor ordered – a mini spa day just for you. Whether you’re a working mother, stay at home wife or just a woman who enjoys a good spa; every girl loves her cuticles massaged and pedi’s pampered. Now I understand it’s well worth it’s weight in gold to have someone wait on you hand and foot (literally) ,but it’s not always easy to squeeze in those appointments especially when your schedule is always full.
This segment I’ll give you tips on getting the best at home mani, giving you the look and feel of a professional spa.

(Note: Most of these tips can be used by both acrylic and natural nail wearers)
 Off with the old

When removing nail lacquer it’s best to use a cotton pad ($3 for 200 pads at Walgreens). Toilet paper and cotton balls don’t usually hold up and can leave pieces behind that stick to the nail and make removing nail lacquer more difficult.
Nonacetone polish removers are best for natural nails because it won’t dry out the nail bed and cause the nails to become brittle. There are even nonacetone removers with vitamins and moisturizers in them to help keep your nail beds and cuticles well nourished. (try Cutex Quick & Gentle, $2-$3 at your local drugstore)

Single file line ladies

Filing your own natural nails can be really simple with the right instrument. I found the best file to use is a glass one. Unlike metal files or those woodsy looking emery boards we’re all use to; the glass files leave behind a smoother finish to the nails and wont cause the nails to splinter ($2.50, They can be found in a variety of designs, colors and also lengths (short for traveling and longer for leaving at home,or work).

Now that you’ve found your weapon…I mean implement of choice it’s time to file those delightful digits.

Make sure that your nails are dry first because wet nails don’t stand up well to filing no matter what kind of file you’re using.
Now, in nail school I learned the best way to file your nails is inward instead of  the back and forth sawing motion like you may see those TV secretaries do. Take your new glass file and file each side of the nail going inward making sure the strokes are nice and smooth. Filing back and forth (sawing) will only cause your nails to become weak and break in the long run.

Once you’ve done this your nails are ready for a soak.

Now dip baby dip!

Ok we’ve got your nails all filed up and ready for the “wet” manicure. Now we need to soften the cuticles in a warm bowl mixed w/ oilve or cuticle oil for about 10 minutes each hand (do one hand at a time)(*China Glaze Orange Cuticle Oil, $5). After the alotted 10 minutes take out the hand, dry it off and apply cuticle remover cream (Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover Maximum Strength, $6) and massage in a circular motion. Massaging will allow the dead cuticle skin cells to loosen up. Then take an acrylic cuticle pusher wrapped in cotton and very gently push back the cuticle.

Once all of the cuticles have been pushed back take a nice warm cloth and in a circular motion massage the cuticle. This will remove any dead cuticle away allowing new ones to grown in. NEVER cut at your cuticle! This will result in: hang nails,or infection. Our cuticles are very important and serve as our nails armor so they actually help protect the nail and the skin from harmful irritants.
Taking proper care of your cuticles is what helps your nails to grow so invest in a good cuticle oil and cream and treat them often (preferrably 2-3 times a week).

Wash away the oil and dry them thoroughly so we can get ready to polish.

Time to paint the town red…

Or what ever color suits you but first we must start off w/ a base coat(Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, $4)  . Often times we forget this extra step but a good base coat is what keeps your polish in place plus it keeps darker colors from bleeding onto your natural nail bed. A base coat serves as double sided tape allowing the nail color to stick to the nail and stay in place; it also serves as a ridge filler in case your nailbed isn’t quite smooth on the top.

Once the base coat has dried (about 4-5 mins) it’s time to take your favorite nail lacquer and go to work…..ah ah ah not so fast.

To get an even and smooth coating of polish it only takes 3 strokes from base to tip. First sweep the polish down the middle, then hit each side using one dip per swipe. If this is a one coat polish your  already done but if it takes more coats wait 2 minutes between coats before you apply another.

Finish them off with a protective top coat to add shine and protect the polish from chipping (Opi Top Coat High Gloss Protection, $6). If you’re in a rush try a fast drying top coat and then finish off w/ a drying oil or spray (“Demert Nail Dry Spray, $3)

And if you still manage to smudge them just take a qtip, dip it into some polish remover and gently rub the smudged area (not enough to remove the polish though). After the nail has dried go back over the nail w/ the lacquer and then the top coat. And your done.

To soak or not to soak?

When we hear manicure we think of dipping our hands in a bowl of warm, soapy, sanitized water, but not all manicures are wet. You can use the same steps I stated above but eliminating the water soak and putting in place a “no rinse” hand sanitizer. This will turn your wet mani into a dry one.

Now it’s time to show off those fancy fingers..and have fun beauties. Stay tuned for our posh pedi’s on the next “Say Spa’AHHH” segment :0)

Written by Amoure


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