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Applying Salon Perfect Nail Polish at Home

March 4, 2013 Nail ArtsWellness

Whether your look is neutrals, pastels, neons or sparkle, nail polish is hard to resist. Even a sheer color will pretty up your nails and brighten your day. With a few simple steps and a little attention to the details, you can give yourself a salon-perfect manicure home without damaging your nails.

The key to perfect polish is to start with healthy nails. To remove cuticles, don’t soak your fingers in water. Use cuticle dissolving gel and push them back in gentle, circular motions with a soft pusher. Soaking your nails in water can cause the nail plate to swell and weaken. No cuticle gel? Soak your fingers in warm olive oil instead.

When filing your nails, file in one direction only to discourage splitting. Buff your nails lightly with a buffer to remove any ridges from your nail surface. A smoother nail surface will prevent the polish from pooling or streaking. Be careful not to over-buff. Thinning down the nail plate too much will make your nails more likely to split or bend.

Before you start brushing on your polish, clean the surface of your nail with a little nail polish remover to clear away lingering dirt and oil. Choose a non-toxic nail polish, such as those by Butter London. Normal polishes are harsh on your nails and terrible for both your body and the environment.

Using both a base and top coat will keep your manicure looking nicer, longer. A base coat will also protect the nail plate from staining. Do not shake your polish bottle; roll it between your hands instead. Shaking it will form air bubbles that can turn into chips.

When applying the polish, be sure to brush it all the way over the tip of your nail. This “seals” the edge and will discourage chipping. Let your first coat of polish dry at least ten minutes before applying a second coat. If you’re in a rush, let your polish dry for about two minutes, and then dunk your fingertips in a bowl of ice water for three minutes. It may be uncomfortable, but it will flash-harden your polish so you can run out the door.

Keep your nails healthy while you sport your polish by applying polish-safe cuticle cream. Use plenty of lotion, too, to keep your hands looking youthful and supple. A well-done manicure will last up to a week.

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