Before You Begin
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Step 1: Trim Your Nails
First, if your nails are too long for your liking, give them a little trim using a nail clipper.
Step 2: File and Shape
Once you have your desired length, file and shape your nails. We love the new Revlon File ‘N Peel 6-in-1 File
). If it dulls down or gets dirty, just peel off the first layer to reveal a fresh one.
Step 3: Apply Cuticle Oil
Apply a healthy dose of cuticle oil and/or remover at the rim of the nail. Butter London Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator
) literally melts unwanted skin away.
Step 4: Soak
Soak your hands in a bowl of warm water for a minute or two to soften your cuticles. You can even add some moisturizing soap into the bowl.
Step 5: Push Back & Cut Cuticles
Using a cuticle pusher such as Tweezerman Pushy Cuticle Pusher
) or an orangewood nail stick, gently push back your cuticles. If necessary, grab a cuticle cutter, such as Sally Hansen Nip Em Neat Cuticle Nipper
) to nip away excess skin. Don’t go overboard; you don’t want to leave any redness or raw skin.
Step 6: Buff the Nails
You’re going to want a smooth nail bed for perfect polish application. This Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator 4-Way Nail Buffer
) will leave you with a flawless finish.
Step 7: Moisturize and Massage
Just because you’re not at a salon doesn’t mean you can’t treat your hands to a relaxing massage. This anti-aging Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream
) nourishes hands and helps strengthen nails. For a real salon-style mani, wrap hands in a hot towel right after and use it to remove excess cream from the nail bed. Wipe each nail down with a cotton swab soaked with nail polish remover before you apply polish.
Step 9: Polish Time!
Now you’re ready for the good stuff! Apply a base coat, then two coats of nail polish, and finish it off with a quick-dry top coat. Apply polish in thin layers and let each one dry for a few moments before adding another coat. Sit back, relax, and wait for your polish to dry.