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Who doesn't love that "fresh mani" feeling?
You know, the one that makes you feel proud to put your hands on show again because your nails are on point!
But, there is a downside to regular manicures.. They're time consuming, costly and can be difficult to keep up with.
So, why not do your own nails? This step by step nail guide will show you how to do a manicure at home, and how to create the perfect nail tool kit with minimal nail care tools. Salon-worthy nails from the comfort of your own home!
If you want to learn how to grow your nails faster, check out this post for a formula that shows you how to get strong, healthy nails.
This DIY manicure is just one part of the magic formula I use to grow long natural nails. But, it's a great place to start.
7-Step manicure tutorial
You will need
Nail Brush / Sugar Scrub
1. REMOVE CUTICLES
The cuticle, not to be confused with the "eponychium" is the very thin layer of dead tissue that moves up the nail plate as the nail grows. It forms a protective seal to keep infections out of the matrix area where cells are keratinised to form the nail.
For that perfect salon look, and a smooth base to paint your nails, you must gently remove the cuticle using a cuticle pusher tool. If you're not a professional it's best to avoid cutting your cuticles with cuticle clippers.
You will need
CND Cuticle Away a cuticle remover and a must for the perfect DIY manicure. It dissolves cuticles in seconds making it quick and easy to remove the dead skin attached to the nail leaving them clean and smooth!
Apply Cuticle Away to the entire cuticle area of all 5 nails. By the time you've applied it to your thumbnail, you can get to work on your little finger.
Hold the cuticle tool —pusher end, or orange stick at a flat angle, in line with your finger to avoid damaging the nail plate. Gently push from the middle of your nail bed all the way down to the eponychium.
Repeat this across the nail bed getting right into the sides. The dead tissue/cuticle will come off easily when using a cuticle remover.
Flip the tool to the other end —cuticle remover end, and use gentle scraping motions to remove all the dissolved cuticle from the nail with the sharp end. Repeat on the other hand.
2. FILE + SHAPE
When filing natural nails use a 100/180 fine grit nail file. File in one direction only, from side to tip, as opposed to sawing back and forth. Hold the file at a right angle on the nails edge to avoid thinning by filing at an angle. Don't file too far into the side of the free edge as this can weaken the stress points causing breakage.
3. BUFF + SMOOTH
This step removes any leftover dead skin/cuticles and smooths ridges on the nails for a clean, even base to paint. Buffing blocks are also a great way to remove discolouration from the nail plate without damaging the surface. Buff the entire surface of each nail lightly.
4. BUFF + SHINE
After you smooth the ridges it's time to buff and shine for a salon perfect finish. Start by buffing nails with the matt side to smooth, then turn it over to the super shiner side. Get yourself a good buffer like this Super Shiner from The Edge. If you are painting your nails this step gives an amazingly smooth base. For natural nails, it gives a nice, healthy gloss.
5. SCRUB + BRUSH
Now it's time to give your nails a good scrub. This stage is optional, soap and water and a nail brush will work just fine too. I like to use a sugar scrub because it gets rid of any dead skin that's left on my nails and fingers and the glycolic acid found in cane sugar leaves skin silky soft!
6. CUTICLE OIL + MASSAGE
Applying oil to your nails on a daily basis (at least twice) is vital for strong, healthy nail growth. Keeping them moisturised will prevent breakages. And massaging your cuticles stimulates blood flow to the matrix area encouraging nail growth. Use a cuticle oil that is free from toxic ingredients like synthetic fragrance and drying alcohols like Simon + Tom's Oil Saviour. Alternatively, make your own DIY cuticle oil (in 3 minutes!) to guarantee nourishing ingredients!
7. NAIL HARDENER/STRENGTHENER
Finally, to avoid breaking your nails I highly recommend using a non-toxic nail hardener or strengthener. And layer up. I apply a coat of this stuff on every single day. I apply every morning and night to create a thick protective barrier that keeps my nails safe and prevents breaks.
*Quick tip: If I'm using nail polish use nail hardener/strengthener instead of a base coat.
Check out the 7-Step Magic Nail Formula to get unbreakable nails!