An undeniably great skill to master
We love nothing more than a fabulous nail look, but while a trip to the nail salon is always fun, if you are stretched for time or looking to save money, you can just as easily do a manicure at home. There’s a lot more to it than simply painting your own nails. So, we spoke to manicurist Georgia Rae about how to do a home manicure that lasts.
1. “Gently begin by pushing back your cuticles using a cuticle pusher or an orange wood stick. It’s a good idea to give them a gentle soak first so they’re nice and soft.”
2. “Nip away any dead skin using a cuticle clipper, being careful not to get carried away. Only nip the unsightly, obvious bits! Dead skin will show up as white so use that as a guide, you don’t want to nip any living tissue.”
3. “File your nails into your desired shape using a nail file. Try to file in one direction to avoid splitting the layers of your nail. I like a soft square shape so I take the file down the sides of the nail, then along the top and round off the corners slightly. Assess from every angle as you go!”
4. “Exfoliate your hands using a dry body brush and an exfoliating scrub. This will leave your hands glowing and improve the overall end result of your at-home manicure.”
5. “Wipe your nails with a cotton pad soaked with non-acetone nail polish remover to take off any surface oils or residue from the scrub. You can then apply your chosen polish. When using nail polish I often opt for just a tinted base coat as it looks clean, it’s easy to apply and dries super quick!”
6. “Keep your coats thin and glide your brush over the surface of the nail using light pressure to achieve a more even application. If you’re applying colour try to wait 5-10 minutes between each coat. Keep a separate brush handy that you can dip in nail polish remover to clean up any mistakes.”
7. “Once your polish is dry, help rehydrate your skin with a nourishing moisturiser and oil. Re-apply the moisturiser and massage the oil into your cuticles as often as possible throughout the day, especially before bed to allow the products to work overnight.This will increase the longevity of your manicure and improve the overall health and appearance of your hands and nails.”
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO DO A MANICURE AT HOME
Well, you can’t do a manicure at home without products, can you? Here are a few of our favourites for every step of the process.
2 of the best products for soaking your nails
Clean hands are always very welcome in today’s world, but soaking your hands in warm water with a nice hand wash can work wonders for your cuticles too.
1 of the best hand scrubs
We exfoliate our bodies with scrubs to keep them soft, so why not our hands? The extra step in doing a manicure at home that you didn’t realise you needed.
3 of the best hand masks
Beauty sleep gains yet another focus with hand masks, which are, unsurprisingly, masks for making your hands look beautiful. You don’t have to leave them on overnight, of course, but they work wonders if you do.
Try: Fenty Skin Hydra’Reset Instant Recovery Glycerin Hand Mask (£18)
• Size: 75ml
40 percent glycerin certainly counts for something here, but it’s not the only ingredient in this hand mask that will make your hands lusciously soft – it contains a potent mix of plant extracts and fruit oils to help with that too!
Try: Patchology Perfect Ten Hand Mask (£10)
• 1 pair
If you’re looking for a self-care activity on a cold night, might we suggest a self-warming hand mask that locks in your natural body heat in order for its ingredients (which include shea butter to support healthy cell turnover and rosehip oil to help improve skin’s elasticity) to penetrate deeply?
2 of the best nail tools
Nail tools are one of the things that will separate your at-home manicure from the act of simply painting your own nails.
4 of the best products for your cuticles
From simple cuticle sticks to rich cuticle oils and creams, use these products to give your cuticles the care they need and make your whole home manicure really shine.
3 of the best base coats
We are all about that base. It’s a sure way to make the most of your chosen nail colour and avoid stains to your nails themselves!
Try: Sally Hansen Double Duty Nail Strengthening Base & Top Coat (£6)
• Size: 13.3ml
This is a top coat as well as a base coat, which is useful if you’d rather not have to purchase multiple products. As a base coat, it contains panthenol to hydrate your nails, while as a top coat it contains nylon to protect them.
2 of the best top coats
1 of the best nail colours for a natural look
Sometimes all you want is for your nails to look as natural as possible, but better. And that’s exactly where natural nail polish comes in!
2 of the best nail colours for a bold look
Some people would argue that there’s no point in painting your nails if it’s not going to look obvious, and that’s where bold nail polishes come in.
2 of the best hand creams for beautiful nails
The finishing touch of any respectable manicure and an on-the-go essential: hand cream.