A great looking manicure always starts with clean and healthy nails. Healthy nails start with a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, many of which specifically affect the health of your nails. One of the essential vitamins for nails is Biotin, which is in the B complex of vitamins.
If you find that your nails are brittle, break easily, and lackluster, adding a supplement or foods rich in Biotin will help reverse nail damage and grow naturally beautiful nails. Foods rich in Biotin include organ meats, egg yolks, salmon, avocado, and sweet potatoes.
In addition to proper nutrients, further steps to keep your nails healthy include:
- Keeping your fingernails clean and dry.
- Use a moisturizer on hands multiple times a day. Hand washing is important, but it dries out the hands. Keep a high-quality moisturizer on hand to protect your hands and nails from drying out.
- Protect your nails from damage. Wear protective gloves whenever doing dishes, yard work, or gardening. Gloves will help prevent your nails from tears and breaks, which helps keep them looking healthy and strong.
Once you have established a good routine of nail care, it is time to perfect your at-home manicure. As with most jobs, the most important step is ensuring you have the right tools. There are several different types of manicures, and most of them can be done from home. You can use this guide to help determine the best kind of manicure for you. A great manicure and overall nail maintenance require:
- Nail clippers
- An emery board for filing your nails into shape
- Nail polish remover
- Cotton balls
- Cuticle pusher/remover
- A nail buffer
- Nail moisturizer
- Basecoat polish
- Fingernail polish
- A clear topcoat
- A nail dryer (this is not necessary, but saves time in doing your manicure)
Once you have assembled your tools, work at a comfortable and well-lit space with a hard surface. A vanity top or dining room table works fine. You can place a protective cloth over the surface to protect it from any spills or mishaps.
The following ten steps will provide you with a great manicure. The more often you do your manicure, the more proficient you will become. Doing your manicure at home can save you time, money, and helps to avoid the inconvenience of a nail appointment every time you need a touch-up.
- Remove any nail polish on nails. Take your time and make sure you remove all polish on nails and around the cuticles.
- Wash and dry your hands after removing polish to remove any residue from the nail polish remover. Use a nail brush to remove anything left underneath the nails.
- Gently clip your nails to restore them to the desired length. Use your emery board to shape your nails and to make sure each nail is the same length. Never use a sawing motion with an emery board. Always file your nails in one direction, working from one side and then the other to achieve the desired length and shape.
- If you prefer to use cuticle oil, apply it now. Whether you use oil or not, use your cuticle pusher to gently push back the cuticles from the side of the nail. Use gentle pressure and make sure that you do not damage the cuticle.
- When you have finished filing, and pushing back your cuticles, use the nail buffer to finish shaping your nails. A light touch is critical in using a nail buffer correctly. The purpose of the buffer is to smooth and shine your nails, so do not rub briskly. Buffing vigorously can damage your nails, and lead to unsightly stains from your polish.
- Apply a thin base coat. The purpose of the base coat is to protect your nails and to provide a base to ensure the next layers adhere properly. A base coat helps you avoid unsightly discoloration of your nails and extends the life of your manicure.
- Once the base coat has thoroughly dried, you are ready to apply fingernail polish. The secret to making your manicure look professional is to make sure that you cover the nail from cuticle to cuticle, and across both corners of your nail. Give this layer ample time to dry, and apply a second coat if necessary for complete coverage.
- Never skimp on applying a topcoat. The topcoat serves to protect your color from chipping and fading. The topcoat can also add depth and shine, or a matte finish to your color choice.
- Clean up any mistakes or smears. Apply a small piece of cotton, dipped in fingernail polish remover, to your cuticle pusher. Use this to remove any stray polish around the cuticles or the corners of your nails. Use your nail dryer, or allow at least 20 minutes to completely dry.
- When you are sure that your nails are completely dry, rinse your hands and pat dry. Now, apply a thick layer of moisturizer, massaging your hands as you apply. You should find that your hands look younger and tastefully done.