Before I begin reviewing any new products or showing you any step by step nail art tutorials, I should really let you all in on the secret to making any of your manicures last that little bit longer! We all know how hard it is to keep your polish from chipping for more than 48hours and that’s if you are lucky!
We have all been that girl (or guy, we don’t mind here) who has spent over an hour gingerly painting our nails in the hottest new colour, being careful to keep it inside the lines. We then go through that frustrating ritual of sitting still for the next hour, not touching anything, being careful not to smudge your pretty new polish job. You think the coast is clear… you make yourself a cup of tea or in my case pour yourself a glass of Prosecco and before you know it you have smudged or chipped a nail. Sometimes if you’re lucky you get a whole 24 hours out of your manicure but those chips, smudges & cracks are never too far away. Well fear not my fellow nail addicts; allow me to fill you in on how you can keep you nails looking beautiful for that bit longer…
1. Before you do anything lay out all the necessary tools & polishes you are going to need. This prevents any mid-mani rummaging about & smudging. Then I always begin with clean paws. Remove any old polish & thoroughly wash your hands so you have a totally blank canvas to work on.
2. Start the process by filing your nails into the desired shape, using long even strokes moving from the outside edge towards the centre of the free edge of the nail. DO NOT SCRUB the nail file on your nails, this will cause damage.
3. Once your nails are perfectly shaped, use a polishing block or buffer (you can buy these from most chemists or Sally’s for only 49p) lightly buff off any dead cells from the nail’s surface – your nails should no longer be shiny & but now look matte, don’t panic this is what you want!
5. The most important part of a manicure is the base coat – this creates the foundation for the polish to be applied to. I normally use Bio Sculpture ‘Executive Base’ as it is also a great strengthener for weak and brittle nails. However Rimmel, Nails Inc. & Maval also sell great base coats.
6. Allow the base coat to dry & apply 2 layers of your favourite polish – I chose Bio Sculpture #166 Blazing Lacquer. (I feel like I am cheating on my massive collection of OPI polishes!!) Leave 5-10mins between each layer & be careful not to get any on your cuticle area or surrounding skin – this will prevent the polish from chipping!
7. After you have finished your 2nd layer of polish seal it up with a layer of top coat – make sure to seal the very tip of your nail as well as the top surface. This protects the polish below & keeps your mani shiny for longer! Most major brands sell top coats, I like ‘Beauty Secrets’ top coat available from Sally’s for only £3.60 or Bio Sculpture’s top coat which is available from most salons that stock the Bio Sculpture brand.
8. Your hands get a lot of abuse during everyday life, drying them out & preventing them from looking their best. This is why I always finish any of my manicures with a generous slathering of cuticle oil & hand cream. Being careful that I have given the polish enough time to dry before massaging it all in.
Apply a drop of cuticle oil to each of your nails 10mins after applying your final top coat or put your fingers into a basin of icy cold water – both these methods help your polish dry in a flash!
So there you have it, the easy method to a perfect home manicure… what are you waiting for? Find a polish that tickles your fancy and spend a little well deserved time pampering yourself.
I’d love to hear any feedback you may have on prolonging your manicures or if any of you might have some secret, nifty tips that I haven’t heard of before!
Article by Louise Henry
Louise joined The Beauty Cloud team in May 2014 as our Nail expert. She is a fully trained & qualified Nail Technician running her own little nail bar in Bangor, The Nail Room at Salon75.
Any questions, email email@example.com or find her on Facebook