Flawless Fingertips: Six Steps for a Perfect At-Home Manicure

The elegance of a proper manicure is an ideal compliment to your Minetan glow. Achieving a salon-quality manicure at home is easier than you think, and doing your own manicures saves money and time at the salon. Even if you’ve never done your nails before, the following steps will get you perfectly polished.

Nail Prep
Wash your hands with a gentle cleanser, then use nail polish remover on a cotton ball to remove old polish. Non-acetone removers are gentler on nails and skin, so use an acetone-based remover only if your old polish is very stubborn. Remover also cleans oil and any other residue from your nails, so use it even if you have no polish to remove. Your new polish will adhere best to a clean surface. File the edges of your nails with an emery board or crystal nail file, and if necessary, use a cuticle tool or orange stick to push cuticles back from the nail bed. Be gentle!

Base Coat
Clear base coats are formulated to adhere to your nails and keep your polish in place with minimal chipping. Apply a thin, even layer of base coat to each nail and give it a few minutes to dry. Different base coats have different properties — some are formulated to for maximum longevity, while others include vitamins or nail strengtheners. Choose the base coat that’s best for your needs.

Add Some Color
With your base coat in place, apply two to three coats of polish. Keep each coat even and thin, and give the polish adequate time to dry in between coats. Layering coats too quickly can result in streaks or polish that doesn’t fully set. Practice makes perfect with nail polish, so don’t worry if your first attempt isn’t perfect — there will be time to clean up excess polish later.

Top Coat
Once your layers of color are reasonably dry, add a thin layer of top coat. Top coats protect your polish while adding extra shine. Some top coats are conveniently formulated to dry very quickly, while others include special touches like gold flecks or microglitter to give your nails a touch of sparkle. To maintain your manicure and keep it looking fresh, apply an extra layer of clear top coat every few days.

Clean Up
Carefully use a small nail brush dipped in polish remover to wipe away any stray polish from your cuticles and the skin around your nails. This step is key to achieving a professional-looking manicure at home.

Polish remover is very drying, so when your top coat is dry, carefully rub a cuticle oil or moisturizer into your cuticles and the skin around your nails. Coconut oil is a fantastic natural cuticle moisturizer that can also help strengthen nails. Follow this step with your favorite hand cream, and don’t forget to reapply as necessary.

These steps will help you keep your nails looking as flawless as your stunning Minetan.