Home manicure tips


Properly groomed fingernails are not only attractive, they are
practical. While maintaining your nails, keep in mind that with a great
manicure, you're less likely to have to repair them later.

Painting your fingernails is an art and it's fun! This do-it-yourself
fingernail guide is intended for those who don't have the time to visit
a manicurist and wish to do it at home, or simply don't want to spend
the money. Remember, your hands will show age before the rest of your
body. Take care of them, keep them moisturized and well manicured, and
you can defy the experts.

Filing and Buffing Your Fingernails
Before you begin an at-home manicure, Place your metal nail tools in an
antiseptic solution for about 15 minutes to kill any bacteria and germs.

  • Remove your old polish before you begin.
  • Never file the nail in a back and forth motion. Instead, go from
    side to side, in one direction.
  • Your nails should be shaped into oval tips.
  • Buff the surface of the fingernail after filing.
  • Soften your cuticles by soaking in a small bowl of soapy, warm
    water or cuticle cream.
  • Gently loosen your cuticles with cuticle remover or an
    orangewood stick.

Painting and Decorating

Be creative when you give yourself manicures! Add wild colors,
decals, and stickers specifically designed for your fingernails. But
first, you'll need a good surface to work with.

  • To avoid air bubbles in your polish, don't shake the bottle.
    Roll it gently in the palm of your hands before applying.
  • Apply your fingernail polish in three strokes, one in the middle
    and one on each side, taking special care to avoid your skin and
  • If you're in a hurry, or plan to redo your nails soon, apply
    only two coats of polish. Allow the first coat to dry before adding
    the second coat.
  • For longer staying polish, apply one base coat, two coats of
    polish, and finish it off with a top coat to prevent chipping.
  • Metallic nail polishes stay on much longer without chipping, but
    they're much harder to remove.
  • Apply the polish to the edge, underneath the tip of the nail to
    reinforce the area.
  • When you're finished, clean up any additional polish on your
    skin and cuticles with a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover.
  • Let your nails dry completely for about 30 minutes before doing
    anything, and don't go to bed with wet polish.
  • In a hurry? To harden your nail polish quickly, try running your
    nails under cold water.
  • If your favorite polish is getting old and thick, add a bit of
    polish thinner or remover to revive it.

Manicures: Artificial Nails

Before you begin, it's important to lay down some paper
or an old dish towel for a work surface. This will help prevent any glue
or nail polish from getting on your table. Have all of your tools handy

First, buff the surface of your natural nails. This will
clean them and rough them up a bit, allowing the glue to adhere better.
Then dry the surface of your nails and apply the artificial nails.
Gently rock them back and forth to get out the air bubbles. Press
tightly and apply glue just under the tips where there is usually a gap. After the glue dries, file your nails as you normally
would and clean off any access glue. Paint as usual.


  • Some nail glue is extremely thin. Be careful, it dries almost
  • Longer nails are more prone to chipping and breaking.
  • Trim down the nails before you glue them on.
  • When removing artificial nails, soak them in acetone and remove
    them with a cuticle stick.

Repair Tips

The sooner you repair a broken fingernail, the less damage there will
be. It's best to always have nail clippers and a nail file in your purse
and at work for a quick-fix.

  • To remove a polish smudge, dip your finger in nail polish
    remover and tap lightly.
  • For a chip in your polish, smooth the edges with nail polish
    remover and polish the bare area sparingly.
  • For a torn nail, clip and file. For a big break, file off the
    rough edges and apply glue to the surface of your nail. Hold your
    nail in place while it dries. Buff out to smooth.

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