If you like to keep your nails in good shape and want to save a little money, do your nails yourself. I like to splurge and get a manicure every once in a while but I’ve been doing my own nails for so long that I usually leave the shop thinking I could have done just as good a job at home. Because I don’t wear tips it’s not worth my money unless I’m getting elaborate nail art and that’s not often. It just takes a few simple tools to clean up your nails & keep them looking professionally manicured.
- Polish remover – remove old polish & oils on the nail bed. Your polish will last a little longer if there’s no oil underneath. Take the time to remove your polish once it starts to chip. I always use non-acetone remover because it’s gentler on nails. I love my glitter but it requires a little more muscle to remove. Regular polish remover or acetone removes polish faster but is very drying to the nails & cuticles. If you have to use acetone or just like it because it’s quicker, apply it with a q-tip to minimize contact with the skin. 100% or pure acetone is a strong solvent and is used to remove gel polish & acrylics. Don’t soak your nails using 100% acetone in plastic bowl because it will melt the bowl.
- Nail file or emery board – shape your nails into a form that suits your fingers (square, oval, round etc.). Pointed is very popular right now but has to be my least favorite shape. Your best bet is to copy the shape of your cuticles.
- Nail clipper – cut nails to the length you want. If you’re doing your nails regularly, you’ll rarely use a clipper on your fingernails.
- Cuticle trimmer – remove cuticles & hang-nails. Some people like to push their cuticles back or use a remover but I prefer to just cut them.
- Base coat & top coat – gives you a smooth surface to work on & seals the polish to help it last longer. Even if you don’t like color on your nails, they will look healthier with at least a top coat.
- Nail polish – there are so many color options. Almost everyone has a go-to nail color but its fun to try funky colors & designs. Paint your dominant hand first (pinky to thumb). Two-coats of polish should provide good coverage & stay true to the color in the bottle. If I don’t have time to air dry, I run ice-cold water over my nails. You can also try cuticle oil over the nails so nothing can stick. I haven’t found a gel nail color I really like yet. The polish last so much longer but removing the product is just too harsh on my nails so my search continues.
- Q-tip or orange stick – to clean up any mistakes.
- Hand cream – moisturize your hands after the polish has dried. Colorado is so dry that lotion is a must. All skin looks younger when it’s moisturized
I have no brand loyalty when it comes to nail polish. I choose strictly on whether I like the color or not. I have a lot of OPI, Revlon, Essie, Butter London & Sally Hansen. I know someone who swears by the Lippmann Collection. Look for collection boxes with multiple colors if $20 seems too steep for one bottle of polish. You can usually find them online or at Sephora or Ulta stores. I’m a little more obsessive about the top coat because I like it super-shiny, like glass. Right now I’m using Obsessive Compulsive Glossy but Liquid Glass is also good. If you have the option, buy the smallest bottle possible because, like mascara, polish will go bad before you can use it all.
Doing my own nails is relaxing to me. Its part of my “me” time and a way to be creative and pamper myself. I did an easy dot tip this weekend with fun spring colors.