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This howto shows you all the steps to give yourself a great manicure
You will need the following:
Pack of cotton balls
Paper towels / Makeup removal pads
Nail polish remover
1. The Preparation
Whether you have nail polish on already or not, start by washing your fingernails thoroughly in warm water. Pay particular attention to underneath your nail cartilage. Whilst you are doing your nails check for any redness or irritation. If there is any redness or irritation you will need to stop.
2. Removing Nail Polish
Apply some nail polish remover to a cotton ball, then press this onto the nail to soften the polish. Now wipe the nail gently with the cotton ball, starting from the base and working towards the tip of the nail. By working from base to tip, you avoid smearing the old polish into the cuticle. Apply the nail polish remover to all the nails until they are back to their natural colour.
3. Trimming your nails
If you need to shorten your nails or reshape them, you will need to use pair of fingernail clippers. These should be small clippers, which are designed to fit your nail shape. You will probably need to trim them about once a month. When you trim them, do not trim them right up to where the nail meets your skin, this can make it recede!
4. Filing your Nails
To file down any rough surfaces on your nails and make them smooth, you will need an emery board. An emery board is used for the tips of your nails, rather than the top. Using the emery board you should file the tips at an angle, so that most of the filing occurs on the under side of the nail. When filing each finger nail you should file from the corner of the nail towards the center, making sure you only file in the one direction for each side of the nail (don’t refile an area in the opposite direction). Keep filing until they are a smooth consistent shape.
5. Removing Cuticles
Your cuticle is the layer of soft skin at the bottom of your nail, where your skin and your fingernail meet. When your fingernails grow, the cuticle stretches with it. Removing cuticles, or rather pushing the cuticle skin back keeps your nails healthy, and encourages your nails to grow.
Firstly, soften the cuticles in a bowl of warm water. Then, using your cuticle remover, gently push back all your cuticles one at a time to leave smooth cuticle free nails. Pushing your cuticles back should not hurt, if it does you may need to see a doctor. If your cuticles don’t soften easily, you may need to use cuticle remover cream before pushing them back. Once you have pushed them back, wipe your nails clean of any cuticle that has come loose.
6. Resting your Nails
For those that regularly polish their nails, you should let your nails breathe naturally for a couple of days in between polishes. This helps to keep your nails healthy.
7. Choosing a Colour
This may sound a little patronizing, but don’t forget when you are choosing a colour of nail polish, it is going to be on your nails for a while. So you need to make sure it is a shade that goes with whatever outfits you are likely to wear!
8. Applying Nail Polish
Your nail polish should come with its own applicator. Before applying the nail polish, you need to get rid of any excess nail polish from the applicator. Now, with a steady hand you need to brush from the base of your fingernails up towards to the tip of your nail using long strokes. Make sure you apply it evenly to each nail.
If you make a mistake, don’t worry. Taking a paper towel, apply some polish remover to any excess polish, then reapply nail polish as applicable. If you really need to, you can always remove all the polish from the nail and start again.
9. Applying a Second Coat
Between applying your first coat and your second, you should wait about ten minutes. Some nail polishes dry much quicker, but it is always better to leave them for longer than necessary than risk applying a second coat before the first has dried properly. As tempting as it can be to try and speed up the drying process with a fan, this can actually cause the nail polish to move around a little and make the finish less even.
10. Apply Lotion
Once your nails are completely dry, apply lotion to moisturize around your nails.
Now you can sit back and admire them!
The secret to a great set of nails is to use a good manicure set and nail polish to get a good finish to them. You also need to practice practice practice!
Further Reading: Nail Courses
Original Source: Montpellier Beauty