Sunday, 23 June 2019

The Correct Way To Give Yourself A Manicure



After reading the title to this post you may be thinking 'is there an INCORRECT way to give yourself a manicure?!' 

Yes. Yes there is. And 90% of us have been doing it wrong.

It wasn't until I became qualified as a beauty therapist / nail technician that I realised how many mistakes I had being making. I'd love to share with you all the correct procedure on how to do a professional manicure at home. 


Before we start the routine you need to clean any equipment you're going to use. Especially if you're using it or have used it on somebody else, you don't want to be passing around bacteria that could potentially turn infectious. 

Never give a manicure if you have sore irritated swollen skin, you'll likely make it worse, go to a professional to find out what it could be if you don't know. 

First up, you need to decide on a nail length and shape. It's always best to try and get the nails the same length, this usually means filing down your nails to the length of your shortest nail. As you can see by my before photo my shortest nail is very short and I didn't want my nails that short, so I decided to go with the second shortest length. 



 You can also see by my photo that my nails are all different lengths and shapes, some are more square, some are more rounded, some are broken, some are ridiculously long, so I need to file them to the same length and shape. 



I've decided I'd like to go for an almond shape. There are a few shapes you can opt for such as round, oval, square, almond and painted.

I'd recommend against using a metal nail file as they are known for causing damage and splits to the nail.

The thing we've all done wrong our whole lives is filing our nails. Let me guess you go back and forth really quickly on the top of your nail? Never EVER do that. It's so so damaging to your nails! You should always file from slightly underneath the nail at a 30 degree angle. You should never go back and forth but go from one side to the middle. So start at the left and pull the file firmly across towards the middle, then over from the right to the middle. 

Once all your nails are the same length and shape it's time to sort your cuticles.

It's important that you don't completely remove all of your cuticles, they are there for a reason. To stop infections in the nail bed. 


First of all you should apply cuticle and nail oil or cream, I like to use an Almond Body Shop one, it smells like Cherry Drops! Massage the oil into your nails and cuticles and then soak your nails in warm water for around 2 minutes. Pat them dry and then the cuticles should be gently pushed back with a hoof stick and then using a cuticle pusher remove any excess skin that sheds away in the process. This will remove dead skin that has built up but still keep the nail bed healthy.



If you have any hangnails this is a good time to remove them, use nail scissors or cuticle clippers gently to remove them, be careful not to do this to roughly as you could end up hurting yourself and causing the nail bed to bleed, this could also lead to an infection. This once happened to me and my finger turned green, I had to take antibiotics for it!


After this you should apply a hand cream all over to add some moisture to your nails and give your hands a nice healthy glow. Wait for this all to soak in and if you wish to paint your nails now is the time.


There's a few tips for you to bare in mind when painting your nails ...

  • Lighter shades mostly suit short / damaged nails.
  • Nails can look longer when painted closer to the cuticle.
  • All shades suit longer nails.
  • Leaving a narrow space either side of the nail gives the illusion of longer nails.
  • Warm skin tones would benefit from cool shades of colour, such as blue.
  • Pale skin can appear warmer when using cool pinks.
  • Warm soft shades such as beige, coral and rose can flatter fair skin tones.
  • Dark rich shades work best in winter.
  • Salmon pink, red and coral work well in summer.
  • Dark colours accentuate wrinkles. 
  • Varnishes look darker in the bottle than when applied to the nail.

Always apply a base coat to prevent staining and a topcoat to seal in your colour and prevent chipping of the polish. 

Don't worry too much about getting it on your skin, I have a tip for that too!

Always do a thin layer of polish, never pile it on, it won't dry and will cause bubbling. Thin layers not only dry quicker, but provide a good base for the second layer. Two layers of colour should be the perfect amount. 

Once your nails are 100% dry and have no risk of denting or chipping, do the washing up! Sounds silly but the washing up liquid will help remove any excess polish off your fingers meaning you don't have to risk going in with a cotton bud and varnish remover. 

Those are my tips on how to give a professional manicure!

Have a great week, 


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