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How to do a Manicure

Manicure is not so difficult to do at home and if you don't feel like doing it on your own, you can always go to a nail saloon and have a professional do it for you. Going to a saloon takes more time, and unless taking care of your appearance is your only occupation, chances are that you will do your manicure more often on your own, than use the services of a professional manicurist. So, knowing how to do your manicure does not hurt at all.

  1. The first step in doing your manicure is guess what? Washing your hands of course! Yes, if you want to have brilliant manicure, removing the dirt from your hands and nails is only the beginning. If washing with soap alone is not enough to remove the stains from your nails, you can apply a nail whitener. Depending on the color you plan to use, stains might be necessary to remove or not. If you plan to use a transparent nail polish or a nail polish in a light color, leaving the stains on your nails will spoil the effect for sure. Also, if you have dirt or oil on your nails before you apply the polish, this will lead to a bumpy coating that will last for shorter.
    If there are remnants of a previous nail polish, use an orange stick (wrapped in cotton) soaked with nail polish remover and clean the leftovers. Even if you plan to use the same nail polish, these remnants cannot stay because they will make the nail look bumpy.

  2. After you have washed your hands, dry them with a soft towel. But be careful, because wet finger nails get softer and can easily be broken. Don't apply any creams because this will prevent the polish from spreading equally on the nail surface.

  3. Next comes nail cutting and shaping. This can be done with a pair of clippers or scissors first and then use a file to shape it more precisely. There are many recommendations regarding which shape is best but it is up to you to decide if you prefer rounder or sharper cuts. Generally oval shape works best for all kinds of fingers except very thin ones. If you have very thin fingers, shape them square and round only the nails. Otherwise, make the whole nail round because this is giving the illusion of longer fingers.

  4. When you are ready with shaping your nails, run them over an old pantyhose to see if they will snag it. If they snag it, there is work left for the file.

  5. Next, apply a softener to your cuticles. Wait a couple of minutes for the softener to dry out. After the softener has dried out, put your hands under hot water for a minute or two and after that gently push the cuticles back. Don't cut the cuticles because this will make them harder and puffy.

  6. Now, it is time for the base coat. Be patient, the polish itself comes next. Apply one layer of base coat, starting from the cuticles and continuing towards the edges. The base coat, as well as the nail polish itself, is done in three strokes – the first is in the center and the other two are on the sides. However, never paint the whole width of the nail, leave a couple of millimeters on each site without a coat and a polish. Wait a couple of minutes for the base coat to dry out completely and then you are ready to go on with the nail polish itself.

  7. Before you start polishing, shake the polish well because if it has not been used for a while, it is possible that there is a thick residue at the bottom.

  8. Apply the polish in a similar way to the one described for the base coat. Be careful not to paint outside the boundaries of the nail and especially on the skin, though you can always remove these trails later with the help of some nail polish remover.

  9. Wait a couple of minutes for the polish to dry out. You can wave your hands, to make it faster but don't use driers or other appliances.

  10. This step is optional, though it is strongly recommended – polish once more. There is nothing wrong (though it is certainly not professional) if you leave your nails with only one layer of nail polish but for brighter colors and for a better overall effect, you'd better apply the polish once more.

  11. After the last layer of polish has tried out, it is time for the top coat. Again, this is not mandatory but generally it is much better to apply it because it gives your manicure a more finished look and makes it more durable.

  12. The last step is to sanitize all your equipment (files, clippers, etc.) with alcohol, let it dry and store it for the next use. Even if you are the only one who uses that particular equipment (and it is really bad to share such private items with somebody else), this small last step can save you a lot of trouble if you have had by accident picked up some kind of infection.

The steps described here are for manicure. If your are interested to learn how to make your pedicure, check this article.



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