As a nail technology enthusiast and longtime ‘nail painter’, the struggle for a perfect manicure has always plagued me. I’m no stranger to chipping polish or peeling nails, but over time, I discovered that no matter the color of the polish or length of the nail, a basic manicure should always begin with the correct preparation to ensure a long-lasting manicure and a beautiful finish. Despite how difficult it may seem to get the perfect mani, I assure you it can be done. Below are four very important steps to you should take to prepare for any manicure.
Wash and Sanitize Your Hands
Washing your hands is something you’ve probably been doing since preschool, so it may seem simple enough and very trifling. However, the perfect manicure is based on perfect preparation, and washing your hands may not be as simple as you’d think. The first step is picking the right materials. You want to choose a simple liquid antibacterial hand soap (not a fancy decorative bar soap) and a coarse nail brush. You will use these to cleanse the hands of any visible dirt and invisible germs. Apply soap to the nail brush after washing your hands as you would normally. Use the nail brush to clean your nails and on the tops of your fingers. Scrub until all visible dirt is gone and a lather has formed. After this, you are free to wash your hands of soap and dry them as normal.
Remove Old Polish From Your Nails
How many times have you simply put new polish on top of old polish and called it a day? I too have been guilty of this terrible habit and that’s why my manicure started chipping after day one. Removing old polish allows new polish to adhere to your nails properly which is very important for a long-lasting mani. Be sure to use a nail polish remover that contains acetone and a clean dry cotton ball to remove any old varnish. If the polish refuses to come off, soak your nails in a cotton ball covered in pure acetone and watch the magic happen.
Shape and File Your Nails
Many people simply file their nails with a metal nail file and buff them with a square buffing block. This routine is fine for grooming natural nails, but when it comes to doing a full manicure it can get a bit more complicated. The first step to shaping your nails is choosing the correct file. You will want to select a two-sided file with a 100/180 grit. File the edge of your nail with the coarse side of the file (100 grit) and file the tops of your nails with the 180 grit side. Be sure to remove all dust with a clean brush and wash hands thoroughly.
Push back Your Cuticles
I’m sure many of you know what your cuticles are so this step should be pretty easy. Simply soak your nails in a bowl of warm water for about two minutes, then take an orangewood stick or plastic cuticle pusher and gently push back your cuticles. Don’t push them back too much because doing so can damage the nail! After you push them back, clip any hangnails or dead skin with cuticle nippers and dry your hands. You are now well on your way to a perfect mani.
That wasn’t so difficult, was it? These simple steps will increase the longevity of your manicure and keep your nails healthy. You can also follow these steps even if you want to just keep your nails natural and not paint them. All in all, these steps are beneficial to everyone and can only improve your nail health. If you have any questions about the manicures we offer or would like to learn more about the products and services At Shelley’s Day Spa & Salon, please contact us here.