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Feb 22, 2006
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Manicure & Pedicure Tips
Home Manicure Tips
Nail PolishProperly groomed fingernails are not only attractive, they are practical. While maintaining your nails, keep in mind that with a great manicure, you're less likely to have to repair them later.

Painting your fingernails is an art and it's fun! This do-it-yourself fingernail guide is intended for those who don't have the time to visit a manicurist and wish to do it at home, or simply don't want to spend the money.

Filing and Buffing Your Fingernails
Before you begin an at-home manicure, Place your metal nail tools in an antiseptic solution for about 15 minutes to kill any bacteria and germs.
  • Remove your old polish before you begin.
  • Never file the nail in a back and forth motion. Instead, go from side to side, in one direction.
  • Your nails should be shaped into oval tips.
  • Buff the surface of the fingernail after filing.
  • Soften your cuticles by soaking in a small bowl of soapy, warm water or cuticle cream.
  • Gently loosen your cuticles with cuticle remover or an orangewood stick.
Painting & Decorating Your Fingernails
Be creative when you give yourself manicures! Add wild colors, decals and stickers specifically designed for your fingernails. But first, you'll need a good surface to work with.
  • To avoid air bubbles in your polish, don't shake the bottle. Roll it gently in the palm of your hands before applying.
  • Apply your fingernail polish in three strokes, one in the middle and one on each side, taking special care to avoid your skin and cuticles.
  • If you're in a hurry, or plan to redo your nails soon, apply only two coats of polish. Allow the first coat to dry before adding the second coat.
  • For longer staying polish, apply one base coat, two coats of polish, and finish it off with a top coat to prevent chipping.
  • Metallic nail polishes stay on much longer without chipping, but they're much harder to remove.
  • Apply the polish to the edge, underneath the tip of the nail to reinforce the area.
  • When you're finished, clean up any additional polish on your skin and cuticles with a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover.
  • Let your nails dry completely for about 30 minutes before doing anything, and don't go to bed with wet polish.
  • If your favorite polish is getting old and thick, add a bit of polish thinner or remover to revive it.
Manicures - Artificial Nails
Before you begin, it's important to lay down some paper or an old dish towel for a work surface. This will help prevent any glue or nail polish from getting on your table. Have all of your tools handy beforehand.

First, buff the surface of your natural nails. This will clean them and rough them up a bit, allowing the glue to adhere better. Then dry the surface of your nails and apply the artificial nails. Gently rock them back and forth to get out the air bubbles. Press tightly and apply glue just under the tips where there is usually a gap.

After the glue dries, file your nails as you normally would and clean off any access glue. Paint as usual.
  • Longer nails are more prone to chipping and breaking.
  • Trim down the nails before you glue them on.
  • When removing artificial nails, soak them in acetone and remove them with a cuticle stick.
Home Fingernail Repair Tips
The sooner you repair a broken nail, the less damage there will be. It's best to always have nail clippers and a fingernail file in your purse and at work for a quick-fix.
  • To remove a polish smudge, dip your finger in nail polish remover and tap lightly.
  • For a chip in your polish, smooth the edges with nail polish remover and polish the bare area sparingly.
  • For a torn nail, clip and file. For a big break, file off the rough edges and apply glue to the surface of your nail. Hold your nail in place while it dries. Buff out to smooth.
Home Pedicures, Tips
Don't even think about going to a beach party or wearing those sexy, strappy sandals without properly groomed toenails. If you're baring them, they're going to be noticed -- so give them some attention and make them feminine and flirty.

Conservative or trendy, we've got some quick tips for home pedicures to make even the dullest toenails look hot and professional! It doesn't take long if you learn the basic routine, then you can modify it however you like. Let's take it step-by-step...

Prepare Your Toenails
Before you begin a home pedicure, you need to remove your old nail polish with polish remover using a cotton ball or swab. Swipe around the edges to ensure the polish is removed completely.

Use clean fingernail clippers to trim your nails straight across. Don't cut them too short, you can then use an emery board or fingernail file to shape your toenails exactly how you want and remove any sharp edges.

Soak your toes in a basin of warm water (with salts if desired) for about 5-10 minutes to clean your toenails and soften up your cuticles. Cuticle cream or lotion can also help soften your cuticles if you plan on trimming away any access. If you want to push back your cuticles, use an orangewood stick to loosen them and press gently back so they don't cover your nail.

Painting Your Toenails
You can paint your toenails as you would your fingernails, but you need to keep your toes separated so they don't rub each other. Generally, applying two coats of polish is ideal, allowing them to dry in between.

To add some staying power, apply a clear topcoat and let it dry too before you put any shoes or socks on. For quick touch-ups to your pedicure, you can apply another coat of the same color polish. Don't get too many layers or they'll chip off more easily.

If you want to add some nail decals, do this right before your topcoat. If you don't have a topcoat, apply a layer of clear fingernail polish over your decorations so they stay put.

I've never heard the tip about repairing smudges, I should try it.

And even to this day, I cannot fathom the idea of removing my cuticles. I see women who do it themselves too all the time, but for some reason, it just makes me antsy to think about snipping off that piece of skin. Does it really enhance the look of the nail bed? Why do ladies get it removed? There has got to be a reason behind it???

I actually don't get my cuticles clipped. My theory has always been your nails look raggedy which may cause one to frequent the nail salon often.

THX for the posts! I'm hosting a Mani/Pedi MArgarita & Pina Colada surprise Bday party for a girlfrined who's had a ROUGH few months!!


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