Sure, I’d love to have a professional mani/pedi weekly and let’s go ahead and add on a couple blowouts and a massage (or two). But that just isn’t possible for us regular folks. So, I will continue to pursue the perfect at-home blow out and beg for a back rub when I can. But I have had enough practice to pretty much master an at-home manicure which makes me feel pampered and will give my nails a professional, clean look. And I am excited to share those tips on Great Day Green Country this AM – we changed things up this week and will be doing my usual Friday segment on Thursday
Quick side note on my polishing skills: I have lots of trouble getting polish to remain chip-free for more than two days. I know even the illustrious Eva Chen admits to repolishes every couple of days. So I’ll settle for working my way through my endless nail polish collection with a switch up more often. I’ve had gels for a couple months. With my returned natural nails, changing up shades right now is kind of refreshing. With that said… here is my routine:
- Start with clean, dry nails. Remove older polish with a nourishing remover. Make sure to double check sides of nails for any rogue polish. Splurge on specialty nail cottons because they are particularly absorbent and abraded.
- Shape nails with a glass file. A glass file is gentle on delicate nails and avoids tugging or breakage. Squoval is the universally-flattering and classic shape but we have been seeing editorial-shaped nails like pointed on runways for a couple seasons so go for any look you desire!
- Soak nails in a bowl of warm soapy nails to soften skin. Sometimes, I jump in the shower at this point to kill two birds with one stone.
- Apply a cuticle remover to remove dead tissue from the cuticle area. Use a wooden nail tool to push back cuticles. Resist using those dreaded nail clippers. Cutting skin can breed bacteria. And that skin also serves a purpose protecting the delicate cuticle area and can prevent redness. Cut any hangnails if you must.
- Thoroughly rinse cuticle remover ensuring it doesn’t stay on skin too long. Nourish dry hands with a rich hand cream like Nuance Salma Hayek Super Brightening Hand Cream (which is cruelty-free and can help with the appearance of age spots) or Library of Flowers Coco Butter Handcreme.
- Wipe nail beds only with alcohol or a nail primer like Deborah Lippmann 2 Second Nail Primer to ensure oils from the nail bed are completely clean. Use specialty cotton to avoid any residual threads that could ruin polish application. Or try Q-Tip Precision Tips Cotton Swabs if your nail beds are on the small side.
- Apply a strengthening base coat like Essie Grow Stronger and allow to completely dry. If you have trouble keeping polish on, try Orly Bonder. Then use two coats of colored polish, starting with a swipe down the middle of the nail followed by one on each side. Finish with a quick dry, no chip top coat. Right now, I am loving Debroah Lippmann Hard Rock.
- Maintain your manicure by applying a new top coat every other day. In the evenings, keep cuticles looking healthy with hand cream or specialty designed cuticle and nail balm.