I am not formally trained to do nails. Most of what I know about the basics of doing your own nails, I learned from the Nail Care Board at Makeupalley. Here are the best tips I have received from the nailboarders.
NAILS ARE JEWELS, NOT TOOLS. It is tempting to use my nails to open that soda can, to pick off anything attached with glue, even to scratch off labels and such. These cause peeling and breakage. I use the pads of my fingers to open canned items with pull tabs, an orange stick or a pair of tweezers to pick off or scratch off things.
TREAT CUTICLES KINDLY. Clipping off cuticles may cause cuts and tears leading to infection. Instead of clipping them, I push them back and rub moisturizer on them religiously. My favorite is Lush Lemony Flutter. There are also many homemade recipes for moisturizer, such as the Pumpkin Moisturizer recipe posted previously.
INVEST IN A GOOD FILE. Glass or crystal files are gentle on the nails and do not cause damage. They also last a long time and almost never need replacing unless they are broken. Most of all, glass files are more hygienic since the nonporous surface do not provide a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. You can easily clean glass files with soap and water. Another useful tip is to file before removing dark nail polish because it helps in filing the nails in a straight line.
WRAP YOUR TIPS AND CLEAN YOUR EDGES. My manicure lasts longer when I wrap the tips. I do this even if I change my polish more often than the regular polish user because I never know if I’ll be too lazy to change it that evening. I use a stiff concealer brush, pure acetone, and the MeganChair method (link to her tutorial here) to clean up because I am not a naturally neat polisher.
POLISH AND REMOVER NEVER MIX. Old polish can become thick and goopy. Forget the old wives’ tale about nail polish remover being able to restore it to its original state. It may appear that it is working, but the contents of nail polish remover will not only break down the chemical structure of the polish, it will eventually destroy it.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. My hands have not been always steady when applying nail polish. As a matter of fact, there are still some days when my manicure looks like it was done blindfolded. Be patient with it.
All images © 2014 Ann Itoralba
Written by: Ann Itoralba
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