With COVID-19, life has taught us scores of lessons. Those routine services and socialization that always stood by us as our constants – such as a luncheon with friends, a drink at dive bar, a facial, haircut, or a manicure – are all that, now, feels like one afternoon in next reincarnation. The saying drives truer more than ever – we don’t miss water till the well runs dry. We have begrudgingly hunted over YouTube for how to cut our own hair (or of our partner’s / children), how to do threading, waxing and what not?
In these times of tribulation, self-dependency is deeply called for. This is where we thought of bringing you a guide to perfect at-home manicure. See the step-by-step instructions below so you can give some TLC to your own hands, (at least until we resume life like ever before, getting back to salons one fine day and give our nail technicians a huge warm hug).
- Paper Towel
- Nail File
- Nail Clipper
- Cuticle Serum (alternatively, you can use a pinch of coconut or avocado oil)
- Base Coat
- Top Coat
- Cuticle Eraser
- Wooden Stick
- Nail Polish Remover
1. Prep Your Nails:
Begin your manicure by thoroughly washing your hands. If you have any nail polish already on, take a piece of tissue paper and dip it into nail polish remover. Twist the tissue around your nails to take off the old nail polish, while ensuring that no residual polish is left. Cotton ball can also be used instead of a tissue, however, it leaves out the residue behind for it has lint. Therefore, after you take off the nail polish using a cotton ball, you could use a tissue or a paper towel (cut into small pieces) to get rid of any residual nail polish. But, if you’re not willing to put in any extra effort, you’re recommended to use a lint-free facial cotton ball/pad in lieu of a regular cotton ball or pad.
2. Trim and File:
What kind of nail shape you would prefer? Settle on your preference and proceed filing from the side if rounded shape is to your call, while from the top if you want them squared. If your nails are long enough for filing, trim them first using a nail clipper.
To ensure an evenness in the nails, you could use a table as a level. Rest your opposite hand on the table while holding the nail filer. Then, move your other hand against the nail file to smoothen out the edges.
Place the finer grit side of the nail buffer parallel to your nails. Buff your nails in unidirectional strokes. Buffing helps smoothen out any edges, ridges or rough patches on your nails. Make sure you buff your nails gently. Since buffing can damage your nails, do not try to buff / polish your nails more than any 4-6 strokes.
Proceed by buffing your nails, now, with the smoother side of the buffer and, in tiny circular motions. Do it not more than any 4 to 5 times. This will give your nails a glossy / shiny look.
4. Apply Cuticle Oil and Push Your Cuticles Back:
Apply cuticle serum to soften your cuticles. Alternatively, you can also use avocado oil or coconut oil. Use your fingers to massage the serum or oil into your cuticles. Proceed by gently pushing the cuticles back into the nail bed using a wooden stick. Wait for a few minutes and dip a cotton swab in alcohol and rub it on your nails to remove any excess oil. Removing the excess oil from the nails helps the nail lacquer to adhere to it.
5. Add Base Coat:
Apply a clear base coat onto the nails in light and even strokes. Make sure you do not go overboard with the coatings, and allow it to dry for one to two minutes. It is always good to use a base coat because while helping keep the nails healthy and hydrating them, it also helps the lacquer last longer.
6. Apply the Lacquer:
Now begins the show time. Try not to use too much of the lacquer and don’t worry if the finish doesn’t come up tidy – you can always do another coating (try not going beyond two coatings). The key to perfect finish are the balanced, even and unidirectional strokes from the base to the tip. Make sure you wipe off any excess lacquer on the brush to avoid it causing bubbles or cracks.
Quick Hack: Did you hit your nails around with any excess lacquer? Don’t you worry. Get your hands on that same wooden stick you used earlier to push your cuticles back, dip it in some nail paint remover and tidy up the extras.
7. Do the Art (optional):
If you wish to do some art work, now is the time. Do it. You could create some diagonals on the top of your nails, use studs, draw out stripes et cetera. It could be anything, everything or perhaps nothing. To churn and to play with the creativity or not is only an optional job.
8. Add a Top Coat:
Top your nail color with a coating of clear nail polish. A top coating of nail polish not only helps you get a salon-like finish but also it helps keep your nail color and the art piece safe from scratches, peeling, and chipping.
9. Air Dry Your Enamel:
Now that you’re done with the masterpiece, air dry your nails. If you’re in haste and need to speed up the drying process, you could use lacquer drying drops. OPI Dry Drip Lacquer Drying Drops is an amazing product that would cut the drying time to half while also treating the cuticles with a dose of jojoba and vitamin E. After you apply the nail lacquer, leave it for 1-2 minutes, and then proceed by putting 1-2 drops of Drip Dry on each nail. Wait for another one minute. Voila! You’re all set and ready to go.