Friday, November 16, 2012

Easy At-Home Manicure Tips

 It's Friday. I have a major case of writer's block today. But I'm here. 
Today's my day off and I cannot tell you how good it feels. It's the time of year that becomes simultaneously joyful and stressful. There must be some secret oath that professors take, promising to always give the optimal amount of work, research, and reading to their students during that week. I can only hope and pray that this will all be worth it. Yet all the stress seems bandaged over by the Christmas music on the radio, businesses and homes setting up Christmas lights, and plans for the new year. That's where I'm trying to keep my sights focused.

 In the general spirit of trying to liven things up, I gave myself a manicure today and I wanted to share some of my favorite tips with you- because everyone deserves a day off.

I am utterly aware that oxblood and burgundy are the go-to colors for everything this season. Seriously, oxblood lipstick? Anyway, I chose a different shade and befriended a lovely hot pink. Victoria's Secret just released two lines of nail polish and I'm pretty excited about it. I have quite a few already, and the color I chose is their Signature Pink Nail Lacquer. 

1. Start with a clean slate. 
If you have any old, chipped polish on your nail, give those babies a once over! Remove any traces of polish on your nails. I prefer non-acetone remover because it's not as harsh and I have slightly brittle nails. 

2. File and trim.   
Don't use your nail file to get rid of length- it will make your nails break and split over time. Always use nail clippers to trim nails to your desired length and use a file to shape the edges or chipped sides. Since the base of my cuticles are an oval shape, I keep the tips of my nails oval shaped as well.

3. Optional Primping.
This step is purely optional and depends on your lifestyle and how much time you have. But if you want to get the full-on experience at home, pay attention. Soak your hands in warm water for about 5 minutes. I like to add a little baby oil to the water to really soften my cuticles. Afterwards, push back your cuticles if they need fixing. Mine usually don't get too out of control, but it's good to do every so often. 

4. Optional Primping Part Two.
Again, totally optional- scrub and moisturize your hands. Mary Kay sells an amazing three step set called Satin Hands Pampering Set. I was given one for Christmas and use it only on special occasions. Be sure to remove excess lotion from your hands because polish won't adhere to your nail as well if it's covered in moisturizer.

5. Never Skip a Base Coat.
My best friend once asked me what kind of base coat I use and I replied: "I don't really use one." She looked as though I had punched a baby (ok I'm exaggerating here...). Either way, her reaction caused me to try painting my nails using a base coat first. The color was much more concentrated and stayed put with less chipping and fading. I always thought base coats were a waste of money, but they can actually extend the life of your nail polish because you will be using less at a time. 

6. Apply One-Two Coats of Chosen Polish.
Obviously this step is self-explanatory, but hey, let's not leave anything out. Some of my favorite brands are Essie, O.P.I., NYC New York Color, Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme wear, and ULTA's nail polish. 

7. Let the Polish Dry.
Some polishes dry faster than others. Take your time with it; read a book or a magazine, or watch a show while you wait (that's part of the fun). If you need to speed up the process, dip your nails in a bowl of ice cold water for 30 seconds. It "freezes" the polish and hardens it so you can get on with your day. 

Have an amazing Friday!


  1. great tips!! thanks for sharing!


  2. This is a really beautiful and thank you for all these interesting tips, really smart!

  3. hi! can I use your photo above for my Facebook? I'm selling VS Nail lacquer. I'll definitely put your blogspot link :)


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