Mastering the at-home Manicure
Whether you're trying to save money or the local salon is fully booked, the art of mastering your own manicure can be a highly sought after skill.

Whether you're trying to save money or the local salon is fully booked, the art of mastering your own manicure can be a highly sought after skill. This is what I found when I just moved to Auckland with no nail salons nearby. There is something about painting your own nails, it can provide therapeutic benefits and be a satisfying experience. Although a nail enthusiast can sometimes find it difficult too achieve the same results you get from professional salon. A lot can happen between coats, chipping, warping, and smudging to name a few. But there is nothing like a good challenge and I love a challenge! The key is to have plenty of practice and a good method of application. Let me share with you my tips for mastering a DIY manicure.

Step 1: Clean your nails

Start with a good nail polish remover will ultimately give your nail a clean crisp canvas to work on. The top removers not only clean well but also has essential nutrients to help strengthen your nails. Use a cotton ball with remover and clean nails thoroughly to get all the oils and dirt off to help the base coat stick.

Step 2: Exfoliate your hands

Exfoliate hands with a scrub that can remove dead skin cells, clean gently under the nails and rinse your hands with gentle soap and luke warm water.

Step 3: Moisturize your hands

Now it's time to moisturize you hands so prevent smudging nail polish during the drying process. Give your hands a well deserved massage, with the amount of brute force we put our hands through daily we have to look after them. Go over once with nail polish remover to give them some grip.

Step 4: Apply a base coat.

Apply a thin base coat to provide antioxidants and nourish your nails, also adding a layer of protection to prevent chipping down the track. Wait a couple of minutes and you'll be ready for the first color coat.

Step 5: Apply your first color coat

Now let's have some fun, choose your color and don't afraid to be bold and experiment. Apply the first coat using the brush with long strokes all the way down the cuticle. Don't be tempted to use too much paint as the strokes may not be as defined and will leave an inconsistent finish. As a general rule, load enough for 3 strokes down the nail.

Step 6: Apply your second color coat

Wait at least three minutes and then apply the second coat of nail polish. Don't overload here since the first coat has already prepped the nail for thin glides on the second coat, the coverage will be plenty this time around.

Step 7: Apply topcoat and dry

The topcoat gives your manicure that reflective shine and protects from chips. Remember to wait 3 full minutes to prevent any smudges from the half dry 2nd coat. Take extra care with the topcoat as a messy application can break your hard work. Now let them dry for 5 minutes until the topcoat tightens.