To be honest, maintaining a set of healthy nails is doable and certainly affordable. Unlike the ones that you see on Instagram where they flaunt their digits in well-manicured nails, you can do so by doing it yourself. All you need is to invest a set of tools for the routine, and you can get the nails that you always wanted.
So, what are the tools that we’re talking about? For a start, the tools for a good manicure include nail clippers, emery board and nail buffer for the nails, cuticle oil or a good moisturizer to nourish the digits, as well as a base coat, nail polish, and topcoat to glam up the nails.
Start by removing any leftover polish on the nails, if any. Use either acetone or acetone-free remover according to your needs. Of course, if you have sensitive skin, you might want to opt the later as acetone can be damaging for the skin in the long run (hence, moisturizers in the list) but admittedly, they do work slower than acetone-based ones.
Soak your digits into warm water and add a bit of gentle cleanser to soften the skin, especially when you want to cut off excess cuticle but keep it short within a few minutes as oversoaking can damage both your skin and nails.
Shape the nails accordingly by clipping the nails and filing them into shape. It’s highly recommended that you choose either round, square, or squoval shape as it’s the easiest to shape while looking elegant for the whole look. Next, smooth over the surface of the nail to create an even surface but keep it in mind not to buff it too smooth or the nail polish can slip off easily (yes, for real).
Remove excess cuticle and push gently the cuticle back a bit from the nail. Remember not to clip it too much as we need it to protect the nail bed. Do the same with hangnails, with the same precautions.
After the major part is done, moisturize your hands thoroughly and massage some of the cream/oil into the nails and let it dry. Next, this is when the fun starts!
Start by applying a base coat to protect the nail from staining and to ensure your manicure last longer. Apply the nail polish as you wish, working from the middle and on the sides for even application. Tip: apply a non-toxic glue like Elmer’s on the sides next to the nails to prevent the nail polish staining your skin, and make the whole cleanup a lot easier.
Two coats of polish with a layer of topcoat is more than enough for a perfect manicure. If you’re still practicing, a simple nail art such as french manicure, polka dot pattern, or even ombre is easy enough for you to do (and the mistakes are less obvious!). let the colors dry and you can flaunt it as you wish!