How to Have a Long Lasting Manicure

Every so often I treat myself to a salon manicure. This is usually during the summer or when I have to attend a special event. When I don't want to spend the money on a professional manicure, I have tricks that I use to do my own manicure at home and have it looking just as good as - and in some cases, better than - the one I paid for. The following tricks and tips will help you achieve great results at home too. 

Clean Your Nails    This sounds so simple but can be forgotten if you are not removing old polish. Swipe nail polish remover across the nail to get rid of oils and create a surface to which the polish will adhere better.

Buff and File Your Nails    Buy a good quality nail file and buffer that will let you smooth ridges, smooth the nail surface and impart a high shine to your nails instantly. It is also a good idea to keep your nails filed to a reasonable length to prevent breakage.

Apply a Base Coat    This will provide the foundation for a longer lasting, smoother polish finish. It will also help protect nails from discoloration that may occur with some darker polishes.
Apply 2 Thin Coats of Polish    Remove the excess polish from the brush and swipe the color up the middle of the nail. Follow with one swipe of color on either side of this to completely cover the nail. Resist applying more polish at this point. Let it set and then apply another thin coat using the same technique.

Apply a Top Coat    Buy a product that is marketed as a top coat and not just a clear polish. A true top coat polish should dry instantly and provide high shine while adding protection against chips. Apply one thin coat after the color and then reapply every few days for extra insurance against nicks and chips.

Tidy Up the Edges    Use a cuticle pusher dipped in polish remover and run it around the edges of your nails to remove any excess paint that may have missed it's mark.

Moisturize Your Hands and Cuticles    Ensure that your hands and cuticles are soft and smooth. This will keep them free from hang-nails and other unsightly snags. Apply a rich hand cream at night and keep a cuticle balm in your purse for daily use as well.

With these tip and tricks, you will have a perfectly professional-looking manicure done right in your own home for a fraction of the cost of one done at a salon.

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