Once you start treating yourself to manicures, it’s almost as if you develop this obsessive need to return to the salon every few weeks. And, of course, this need is accompanied by a bill that burns a hole through your pocket. But what if we told you that you could replicate a salon-like manicure at home without spending a bomb? Yes, really. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to give yourself a spa-worthy manicure at home. Trust us when we say this is the ultimate form of self-care.
- Step #1: Remove old polish and soak your nails
- Step #2: Clip, file and buff
- Step #3: Massage and push back your cuticles
- Step #4: Exfoliate your hands
- Step #5: Apply a base coat
- Step #6: Apply two coats of polish
- Step #7: Moisturise your hands and nails
Step #1: Remove old polish and soak your nails
Start by removing your old polish with an alcohol-free nail polish remover like the Lakmé Nail Colour Remover. If you don’t have any polish on, rub some remover over your nails to strip away any oils or dirt on the surface. Next, soak your nails in lukewarm water for about two minutes to soften the cuticles. If your nails are yellowing, adding a few slices of lemon to the water can help fade the discolouration.
Step #2: Clip, file and buff
Clip your nails if necessary. Start filing them into a shape of your liking, and ensure that you’re not going back and forth with the filer — file in one direction. Always begin by filing your nails from the side to prevent breakage. When you’re moving toward the centre, pay attention to how you’re holding the filer. The filer must be held perpendicular to the tip. Move to the opposite side from where you began, and start filing the other side of your nail. Make sure your filer is parallel to the side of the nail. Buff the sides and tops of your nails to rid them of ridges, and create a smooth surface for the manicure. You don’t want a build-up of oils to ruin your mani, do you?
Step #3: Massage and push back your cuticles
Massage a cuticle remover — not an oil or balm — into your cuticles to dissolve dead skin and soften the nail, and start pushing your cuticles away from your nails with a cuticle stick. Be gentle or you might end up hurting yourself.
Step #4: Exfoliate your hands
Now, it’s time to exfoliate your hands. Don’t have a scrub on hand? Simply make your own using two spoons of sugar, three tablespoons of yoghurt, and a few drops of lemon, and blend it all together. Massage some of the scrub onto your hands, wrists, and forearms to replenish your skin’s lost moisture, and get rid of dead cells. Wash your hands with lukewarm water after two minutes, and dry them thoroughly.
Step #5: Apply a base coat
The next step is to apply a base coat like the Lakmé Absolute Nail Hardener. It keeps the polish from staining the nails and helps them adhere better. Plus, it also strengthens your nails and prevents them from chipping.
Step #6: Apply two coats of polish
Don’t overload the brush with too much polish. You need just enough to cover the nail in one coat. Multiple strokes aren’t recommended. Pick your choice of colour from the Lakmé Absolute Gel Stylist Nail Color range. Available in 15 glossy shades, it gives a rich colour payoff and intense glossy finish. Start painting the centre of your nails to avoid flooding the cuticles, and work your way to the sides. Wait for a few minutes before you apply the next coat. Once done, seal the polish with a top coat like the Lakmé Absolute Gel Stylist - Top Coat to make the colour last longer.
Step #7: Moisturise your hands and nails
It’s now time to moisturise your hands. No, we’re not talking about using greasy hand creams that leave us in a bad mood. Instead, use a non-greasy formula like the Lakmé Nail and Hand Creams with Pomelo Extracts. Infused with pomelo extracts which are known to brighten and revitalise the skin, this one will keep your hands smooth and supple for up to four hours. The best bit? It keeps the hand moisturised post-washing too. Just apply it on your hands and take some time to work the cream between the dry areas of your fingers and you’re done!