Every woman loves having a manicure and pedicure – it’s one of those beauty treatments that leaves you feeling groomed and great. It can be expensive though, so how can you do your own salon style job at home without it costing a fortune?
Start with a Blank Canvas
Make sure your nails are squeaky clean on both hands and feet. Take off any old nail polish using acetone-free nail-polish remover and a cotton pad. Acetone free polish remover is kinder to your nails, doesn’t dry them out, and some brands also have conditioning agents in for extra manicure and pedicure TLC.
Let your nails dry, and then file them carefully. Don’t use an over abrasive or a metal nail file, as these can encourage your nails to peel and split. Opt for a fine grade emery board or a professional style board that can be picked up cheaply from most high street chemists. Another beauty treatment tip is to always try and file nails in one direction – sawing backwards and forwards on the nail can damage it.
Give them a Good Soaking
The next step is to soften your nails and cuticles in a bowl of warm water. You can also mix in some cuticle oil for extra pampering. After about ten minutes, dry your hands and nails and apply some cuticle cream or hand/foot lotion. Gently ease the cuticles back by making tiny circles against them with a thin wooden cuticle stick.
When the cream has soaked in, gently rub the cuticles with a warm, damp flannel, using a motion to help slough away dead cuticle skin. Don’t cut the skin away even if you’ve seen it done in salons – while they may do it as part of their nail and beauty treatment, it can cause infection, and even damage the nail bed.
After you’ve worked on your cuticles, wash off any oil residue and dry your nails thoroughly.
Getting to Work on the Nails
For salon perfect nails, a base coat should be part of the beauty treatment too. Don’t skip it, as a good base coat will be worth the effort. It holds your polish in place and makes your manicure and pedicure last longer. Base coat also stops dark coloured polish from staining your nails.
When you get to the colour, try to sweep the polish across your nails the way they do when they are giving you the full on beauty treatment at a salon. If you can, try and do it in three strokes, from base to tip:
Brush the polish up the middle of each nail, then along each side. Use one dip of the polish for each per nail, and wipe the brush once for each dunk in the bottle before you apply it to your nail. This keeps each coat thin and makes the drying time faster.
Leave two minutes between each coat of polish, including any base and top coats – this also helps the nails to dry more quickly.
Always finish your manicure and pedicure with a topcoat. A protective top coat will give you a harder, more resilient finish, and give your nails more shine, too. It can also help to keep your nails healthy, preventing moisture loss and stopping breakages.
Once the nails have dried, sit back and admire your beauty treatment!