My steps to a perfect manicure

Manicure1The theme for today’s September Beauty Blog Challenge post is hints and tips. So I thought I share my steps for a perfect manicure. I’d like to start by saying I am not a nail expert! I’m sure there are many talented nail technicians who might correct me on some of this but all I know is these steps give me the longest lasting manicure, I can get 4 days without a chip. I’ll also introduce you to my three nail secret weapons, which will now no longer be secret!

1.      Clean nails

I remove all traces of any previous varnish and wash my hands. Make sure there are no traces of oil or moisturiser.

2.      Shape and Buff

I have a four way buffer which I think I got in Superdrug for a few euro. I file my nails with the roughest edge. I always file them in one direction as apparently see-sawing weakens the nail. I slightly buff all the nails with the second roughest edge. I then run over the nails with nail polish remover one more time. This dehydrates the nail slightly which means the polish will last longer.

3.      Cuticles

I don’t have massive cuticles but I lightly push them back with an orange stick covered in cotton wool. Try to go very lightly as you don’t want to damage them.

 4.      Base Coat – secret weapon number 1

I then apply one coat of base coat to all my nails. I’ll introduce you to my first secret weapon for a long lasting manicure, that’s the Essence 24/7 Base Coat. This slightly dehydrates the nail also and leaves a matte base which is perfect for applying colour!

Secret Weapon Number 1 - Essence 24/7 Base Coat

Secret Weapon Number 1 – Essence 24/7 Base Coat

5.      Colour

I apply colour in very light coats. Left hand first then right. I think practice makes perfect, if you hate painting your right hand just try it loads and you’ll eventually get used to it. I always do a stripe down the middle of each nail first then either side. I always leave a tiny strip either side as the polish will always seep a little, this means you won’t get any overrun onto your cuticles. I always wipe the tips of my nails with the brush as well to prevent chipping.

6.      Top Coat – secret weapon number 2

After I have done the colour and let it dry properly, I always apply a top coat. And this is my secret weapon number 2! Essence Studio Nails Better than Gel Nails Top Sealer. Now I think this is supposed to be used to put over fake nails or something but I just use it as my regular top coat. It’s a thick top coat but it dries great and just leaves your nails so shiny. I absolutely love this and am considering stocking up in case they discontinue it!

Secret Weapon Number 2 - Essence better Then Gel Nails Top Coat

Secret Weapon Number 2 – Essence Better Then Gel Nails Top Sealer

7.      Nail Maintenance – secret weapon number3

I think the most important step for the perfect manicure is on-going maintenance of your hands and nails. This is where I introduce you to my final secret weapon. Burts Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. This sits at my desk and I apply it at least twice a day. This has made such a difference to my nails. I also keep a tube of Soap and Glory Hand Food at my desk and apply it as often as I think of. If I’m feeling fancy I use Elemis Pro Collagen Hand Cream!

Secret Weapons Number 3

Secret Weapons Number 3

Anyways sorry for the long post, hope you got some tips from it. I’m considering making a video of it but I’m just feeling a little camera shy at the moment! Do you have any great nail tricks that work for you?

3 thoughts on “My steps to a perfect manicure

  1. Mona

    If you want my advice, not only see-sawing weakens the nails but also the type of the nail file you’re using. I always used emery boards thinking that they are not that rough but my nails were weak and had to be kept short. Then I bought a glass nail file and it’s a hell of a difference! The nails are now apparently strong and healthy. So I would recommend swapping a nail file if you want to have strong nails; for example Aveniro makes some great glass files.

    1. Sarah Post author

      Thanks Mona, I’ve tried the glass files but I don’t like the feeling of my nail against them feels like nails on a chalkboard or something! But I must try again!


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