Tuesday, March 10, 2009

beauty on a budget: Give Yourself a Manicure at Home

if you're like most people, you're doing what you can to save money. doing your own nails at home is a great way to do that, but you don't have to give up your regular manicures altogether. by learning to do your own at least twice a month will help you keep money in the bank.

here's a fabulous formula for giving yourself an amazing mani at home:

**first, remove any polish that you have on your nails. i recommend any Cutex brand. i do use acetone to remove darker polish especially if it has a glitter or shimmer to it-- it just works faster. make sure to get in between the cuticle and the nail to remove any remaining polish that is hidden. continue this process until all the old polish has been removed.

**using a nail file, smooth and shape your nails. once you've done this, soak your nails in warm water to soften up your cuticles. if you are short on time, use a cuticle remover and gently push your cuticles back using an orange stick.

**once this step is completed, i like to use a cuticle oil (or olive oil) and hand moisturizer. not only to pamper my nails and cuticles, but it helps to keep the polish from sticking to my skin later on. before moving on, be sure to swipe a polish remover over each nail to remove excess oil from them-- oil and polish do not mix. :)

**next, it's time for a base coat. Seche Ridge Filling Base Coat works fabulously. this will ensure your manicure will last as color will have something to adhere to. also, a base coat will protect your nails from discoloration.

**once the base coat is dry, it's time for your color. if you're a newbie to at-home manicures, practice with lighter nail colors, as they are easiest to work with (when applying, remember that thin coats are better than thick ones-- it will dry quicker and prevent the dreaded bubbles). to apply, place the brush about half-way down your nail, push downward (this causes the bristles to fan out) until you almost touch your nail bed, then reverse and sweep upward. repeat on each nail.

**for the second coat, start by sweeping the brush horizontally across the top of your nails-- this basically creates an edge of polish and helps prevent chipping (if you get it on your skin, you can remove it when you're finished). after this, apply your second coat of polish, paying close attention to creating a smooth even surface. allow a couple of minutes to go by if you decide on a third coat.

** now it's time to apply the top coat. this important step will not only help make nails appear shinier, but it will protect your manicure.

and that's it! at least my version of it. do you have any tips or tricks you use for giving yourself a manicure? share in the comments!



Kate said...

Great tips! I really love Seche too! Especially the top coat, but their base coat is wonderful also. I would say the one trick that has made a huge difference for me, is to buy a corrector pen from a beauty supply store (where they can usually be found for >$2) and use that to clean up any polish I get on my skin.

Tierra said...

Thanks for the tips! They're super helpful! I'm all for DIY beauty, especially with the economy these days. Thanks for inspiring me! I've got all this stuff in my makeup case--now I just need to use it!