Before AG was born, I was at the nail salon twice a month for manicures and pedicures. It was my “me time,” usually part of a Saturday morning routine while hubs golfed with his friends. Once AG was born, I stopped teaching and one of the things I gave up was those frequent trips to the salon. I do treat myself every now and then, maybe once a month or every other month if I’m lucky.
Even though I don’t get do the nail salon as much, I enjoy having nicely manicured nails. Over the past three years, through many products and lots of trial and error, I’ve learned how to give myself pretty decent manicure. The manicure takes me just 15 minutes and thanks to a quick drying top coat, I can do it before the kids wake up or during nap time.
My manicures usually last a good 4-5 days. I spend a lot of time washing dishes, and while I do try to remember to wear my gloves, most of the time I forget. I usually paint my nails during Friday naptime so they’re good for the entire weekend.
Here are the tools I use to get a salon manicure look in just 15 minutes, from home.
Step 1: Cuticle Remover Gel– This is key to a good at home manicure. I’ve been using this cuticle remover for years. Put it on your cuticles and gently rub it in. You have to leave it on for about 30 seconds, so I always do one hand at a time and file my nails while the gel is softening my cuticles. It’s okay if you leave it on for a few extra seconds.
Step 2: Nail File– Since I give myself a manicure each week, I don’t need to cut down my nails and filing doesn’t take too long. I had heard great reviews on glass nail files. The benefits of the glass files are they don’t wear down as fast as metal, they’re easy to clean , prevent chipping and peeling of the nails.
Step 3: Cuticle Remover Tool– When using this tool, you have to be careful not to press too hard so you don’t cut your cuticle. I first use this tool to push my cuticle back. After that, I use it to remove the excess cuticle, which is easy thanks to the cuticle gel. I find this tool works much better than cuticle clippers. Wash hands when finished with this step. Make sure nails are completely dry before applying polish.
Step 4: Base Coat– I’ve used a variety of Essie base coats and have been happy with each one. Using a base coat will help prime your nails, helps prevent breakage and your nails from being stained from the polish.
Step 5: Polish– I use both Essie and OPI most frequently. Apply two coats for best coverage, allowing a minute of dry time between coats.
Step 6: Top Coat– I love the vinylux top coat, it has a pro light technology that gives it a solid finish. It reminds me of gel but it simple to take off. Vinylux also has polish you can use with the top coat, but I’ve found that you can use regular polish with it and it works just as well.
Step 7: Cuticle Oil– This is actually something that I don’t use during the 15 minutes process. I keep a bottle in my nightstand and use it before bed at night. I put a little dot on my cuticles, rub it in and go to bed. This makes my cuticles soft and hydrated, preventing the dry cuticle look which is something that drives me crazy!
There you have it, an easy 15 minute home manicure.
What are some of your favorite manicure tips and tricks?
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