Monday, 4 May 2015

Manicure Must Haves

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When it comes to nails, I'm all about the DIY. Unless it's a special occasion, I much prefer to do my own nails in the comfort of my own home than have them done at the salon. Doing your own nails can be a process, but with a couple of awesome tools I feel I can get professional looking nails in just a few minutes!
 Step 1 | Tame those Cuticles
A few months ago I finally picked up the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover and it was a serious game-changer when it comes to at-home manicures. Apply it to the cuticle area, let it sit for a few seconds, then use a cuticle pusher to remove all of the excess skin. It's quick and simple and makes it easy to get a professional look at home.

Step 2  | Shape
When it comes to nail clippers, I'm not picky, but files are a whole different story. A glass or crystal file not only saves you the cringe-worthy feeling/sound of filing nails with a traditional emery board, but it gives the smoothest finish and lasts basically a lifetime.

Step 3 | Lay the Base
Base coats are one of the most important steps when doing your nails - they adhere the polish to the nail bed to help your mani last longer, and protect the nail from yellowing. My holy grail used to be the Revlon Colourstay Base Coat, but since that has been discontinued I've been loving using ORLY's Bonder. It's quick drying and creates a "rubberized" layer that truly helps increase the longevity of any polish on top.

Step 4 | Colour & Clean Up
After applying my nail colour of choice, I use a small synthetic brush dipped in nail polish remover to go around the edges and clean up any areas that I may have gone beyond the lines. This gives you a clean, professional final result! This one sent to me by Born Pretty Store (use the code SSEG10 for 10% off) doubles as a dotting tool which is a great for achieving easy nail art designs.

Step 5 | Seal It
The worst part of doing your own nails can be the time you're left waiting for your mani to dry, am I right? After recently repurchasing the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, I don't know why I ever stopped using it! With this top coat the nails are dry to the touch in just a few seconds.

Step 6 | Maintain
I have very dry hands so a cuticle cream is necessary for keeping everything looking it's best. Lush's Lemony Flutter is amazingly moisturizing and smells pretty heavenly. I'm still working on a sample that I got last year, so the full size would probably last you forever! I apply this once my nails are fully dry and I'll use it a couple of times a week while I'm at work or before bed to keep everything smooth and moisturized.

Do you do your own nails? Any tips that I need to know?

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