I wanted to do a quick guide to the perfect manicure! Painting my nails is my favourite thing to do (weird to most I know), but I genuinely enjoy it.
I am officially addicted, and in the past I have removed freshly painted nails in order to change to a different colour as I find narrowing it down to one too stressful.
I have tried a LOT of nail varnish brands over the years, and I definitely have my favourites. The most important thing to me when looking for a nail colour is no chipping! I really hate it when you spend ages perfecting your coats of colour and within ten minutes its chipped beyond repair.
My favourite nail varnish brands are OPI, Essie, Ciate and Maybelline. I find the cheaper Maybelline nail varnishes to be the best in terms of fast drying time, and lasting the longest.
I always finish my colour with Seche Vite top coat to ensure extra shinyness and super staying power! I promise you, once you have used Seche
Vite you will never use another top coat. It is life changing!
I take every step possible to ensure that my mani will last as long as possible, so I do tend to spend a lot of time when I do my nails.
I start off removing any old nail varnish with acetone free nail varnish remover. I usually just buy a cheap one from Boots, and I do recommend an acetone free formula as it is removing your varnish that strips them of their moisture, and causes them to break and become weak.
Once I have taken my nail varnish off, I like to scrub my nails with hand soap and a nail brush, this way I know that my nails are nice and clean, and my cuticles are softened ready for removing. I use cuticle cutters and remove any unwanted skin around my nails so that my varnish can sit perfectly on my nail bed. This is really important, and I know a lot of people miss this step to save time, but it will be worth it if you can include it.
I always follow this routine with an abundance of coconut oil! I use so much my hands are greasy for ages, but your nails really need the moisture! Nails need nourishment to look healthy, and grow long and strong, and I believe in the power of the coconut to do the trick! I genuinely notice a difference when I use coconut oil so I would recommend you add this into you nail routine. I buy my coconut oil in a huge jar from Costco because I use it for absolutely everything, but if you don’t want to invest in such a large amount, you can get coconut oil from pretty much anywhere, in drug stores, or from the supermarket.
I leave my nails for a while after moisturising, not only to ensure that my nails have maximum oil absorption, but also to avoid the greasiness effecting the varnish.
I start off with a base coat. I never paint a colour onto my bare nails because I don’t want to stain them, and weirdly it makes me feel like my nails are chocking if I do!
I use my phone as a timer so that I know I have left my nails to dry for a good amount of time. I apply a base coat and leave this for ten minutes.
For the colour, I like to start with a blob in the middle of my nails and push down towards my cuticle. I then swipe upwards to cover the whole nail. I like to do my colour nice and thick, as I like the finish to look very dense and gel-like. I leave the colour to dry for about twenty minutes. If the colour has applied particularly thickly, I will wait around thirty minutes, and if I am using a fast drying formula I tend to leave it about ten minutes.
I always apply a second coat, as I don’t really like my nail varnish to look thin and transparent. I am not overly worried about the neatness of the second coat, as long as the first is as perfect as you can get, the second is really just concentrated on the centre of the nail, and the tip to increase colour density, and thicken the ends to avoid chipping.
Usually I do my nails in the evening so after leaving my second coat for another twenty minutes, I will carry on with my evening and then go to bed.
I apply a top coat the following morning. The reason I wait until the morning to do this is because I want to avoid those pesky pillow marks that you can get from going to sleep too soon after applying varnish, so this way if this has happened to the colour, the top coat masks it completely. It makes them look fresh and extra shiny that day!
Hopefully this has been helpful! I really do recommend these steps as I have perfected my routine over years and with plenty of trial and error!
Let me know what your staple nail colours are, or if there is a polish you just couldn’t live without! Check out the between us girls Pinterest board with tonnes of nail inspiration.