As we’re getting closer to the holiday season, it is time to start looking at the popular nail, makeup and hairstyle ideas. In today’s edition, we bring you some standout metallic manicures that will help you shine through the festive days! Check them out and feel free to choose your favorite.
Nail maintenance can be such pain. It’s one of those little things, that makes such a difference in our appearance, but also far too time consuming for those of us with a hectic schedule. Here are a few tips for keeping your nails pretty, but also healthy. Click to shop the products and make sure you have them with you when you go for your next mani/pedi. Remember, it’s wise to always take your own polishes with you to the nail salon to prevent spread of germs and potential nail fungus.
“Regular nail polishes are so fast to fade away, acrylic nails do not provide that desirable natural appearance and super gloss”, these statements have been surely uttered for uncountable times by many a woman whether to themselves, at beauty salons or in beauty forums. All these remarks served as a high-wattage inspiration for the leading experts in nail enhancement industry to give rise to a new formula that is feathery light, crystalline clean, nonporous, and what is most importantly – lasting up to 2-3 weeks and with super gloss finish. Gel nail polish came on the scene and made a real revolution in the beauty industry, becoming number one nail enhancement method for many working women, who needed the nails to look spick-and-span for a few weeks.
However, let us not forget that gel or gelatin is a hydrolyzed form of collagen, which is in fact a chemical and let us also call to mind that gel nails do not air dry, but should be cured under a UV or LED light. These facts are sufficient to doubt in their being absolutely safe and secure. Gel manicure does have many downsides starting from making your nails splintery and rough in texture to engendering skin cancer. So let us go deeper into the post-gel damage sphere and find out how to recover nails after gel manicure.
Haw Can Gel Manicure Be Bad For Nail Health?
First and foremost you should always keep in your mind that there should be moderation in all things. Even the most useful thing will lose its whole power if repeated every single day. The same is about gel manicure. Throwing yourself into back-to-back appointments with your nail technician will end up with a series of nail plate problems.
Once gel nail polish came into being hot debates broke out among different nail technicians and subsequently various hypotheses were brought forth about the main aspects affecting the nail damage process. Even now there isn’t any unanimous conclusion about gel manicure, but there are several facts that you should know about gel manicure before falling headfirst into this nail enhancement sphere.
The first thing that may perturb anyone is the usage of UV light during gel manicure procedure. As it has already been mentioned, gel nails are not air dried but cured under UV light between several coatings during 2-3 minutes. So in case of making gel manicure your routine procedure, coming back to it over and over again you may face serious health problems up to skin cancer, though many specialists state that skin cancer is just exaggeration. However, one thing that is ubiquitously admitted is that UV light is causing premature aging, producing some wrinkles and dark spots on your hands, which may surely accelerate the aging of your whole body.
Apart from this, leaving your nails continually coated with anything be it regular nail polish or gel manicure is highly detrimental, carrying all the chances to cause peeling, lifting or cracking to your nails. That is why it is advisable to every now and then leave your nail plates breathe to receive the necessary dose of oxygen at the same time not forgetting to remedy them, otherwise fungus or other parasitic diseases are just inevitable.
Another group of specialists focuses on gel polish removing process claiming that many nail problems caused are the result of removing the gel manicure off the nails without proper attention, considering it to be a cakewalk. If making an appointment with your nail technician is not possible and nevertheless you have decided to do it yourself, it is necessary to know how to remove gel nail polish correctly.
However, we have to disappoint you now. Even if everything has been handled in a proper manner, soaking your nails wrapped in foil pieces into any gel nail cleanser for 20 minutes means making them directly interact with strong chemicals. This may lead to the dehydration of your nail plates. Over and above, let us not omit the part when the foil pieces are removed and the remaining gel polish is peeled off with an orange stick. Every such procedure results in peeling off a layer of your natural nail plate, making it thinner and thinner, weaker and weaker every single time.
As New York City dermatologist Dana Stern states: “Nails are composed of cells called keratinocytes that look like tiles on a roof if you examine them under a microscope.” She then continues, adding, “By peeling off a gel manicure, you are not only removing the gel, but also the top layers of these delicate cells. This can result in white patches and textural irregularities throughout the nails.”
So, every time you remove the gel polish off your nails and find there yellow, brittle nail plates the surface of which being uneven and rugged, or the nail plates being layered, the cuticles dry, rest assured that your nails need recovery, which will apparently take you somewhat 1-1,5 months.
Recovering Nails After Gel Manicure
If you think that recovering your nails after gel manicure is as easy and fast as coating them with gel polish, then you are definitely under a delusion, as post-gel nail recovery needs complex procedures to maintain on a regular basis.
What to eat to improve damaged nails?
Before applying any remedies to your nails and before going through any healing procedures, what you should first pay attention to is your everyday healthy diet. Some foods contain elements that support the nail growing faster, making them become stronger and more durable. Among them are foods rich in proteins that are helpful not only for nails, but also for hair and skin. Try to include in your daily food ration much meat, fish, eggs, and cheese.
Everything rich in calcium will make your nails firm and solid, accordingly the more cabbage, broccoli or nuts and beans you start using, the faster your nails will recover after gel manicure.
Another element that is vital for your nail health is iron. The shortage of iron in a human’s organism may result in spoon-shaped nails. The one product that contains iron mostly is chicken liver. So, if you are endeavoring to have your nails look picture-perfect, it would do no harm to try a couple of delicious recipes with chicken liver.
Let us not forget about zinc. The right potion of this element in the organism helps nails become more durable while at the same time boosting the immunity of the whole body. Zinc is included in seafood, as well as in diary, meat and poultry.
Fresh fruits, especially those containing C Vitamins, like orange or lemon also play a great role in that intricate work to revitalize your nails. And one more thing! Drink a lot of water every day as it hydrates dry, damaged nails and is a real magical elixir for the whole body.
Some Tips on How to Care for Post-Gel Nails
• While you are in the thick of post-gel nail recovery process, keep your nails as short as possible. The longer damaged nails grow, the more stratified they become and accordingly the more they crack and peel. So, to avoid such displeasing results, always keep a nail cutter at your hand and never forget to sterilize it before applying.
• In that whole period of recovering your damaged nails, try to avoid coating them with any nail polish, letting your nail plates breathe freely.
• While doing some household chores like, for example, washing dishes or cleaning the floor, always wear rubber gloves to prevent your nails from meeting any water or chemical substance.
• Avoid opening any cans or loops with your fingers. Even when dialing a number on the phone use a pen or pencil to push the buttons instead of your fingertips.
• Acquire any cuticle oil (jojoba or apricot oil are more advisable) and apply it every day on your cuticles and nail beds, massaging them gently to promote faster blood circulation.
• It is a must for dry and brittle nails to be intensively moisturized every day especially in chilly weather. So a rich cream or ointment will come in handy for the recovery of your post-gel nails.
• A strengthening nail polish may also work here. You can apply it for 2-3 weeks in parallel with therapeutic baths or masks.
Best Post-Gel Nail Treatment Products
We have rounded up the best nail treatment products for you from different cosmetics brands that you may get your hands on and include in your nail recovery strategy.
• Decleor Aromessence Ongles
This luxurious looking cuticle oil comes to be as an amalgam of myrrh, lemon and parsley essential oils. The oil will soften and nourish the cuticles, while at the same time extending magical scent around. Buy it here!
• OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener For Soft & Thin Nails
This nail strengthener from OPI enriched with calcium is obviously to struggle against fragile and soft nails. One course is destined for a week. Coat your nails with two layers of polish and add another one every other day. Every week or two remove the polish off your nails and repeat the same procedure. Buy it here!
• Deborah Lippmann The Cure
This cuticle oil from Deborah Lippmann will never ever leave you witness dry skin, nourishing and hydrating the skin around your nails making it silky to touch and delicate in view. Buy it here!
• Leighton Denny Renovate Nail Repair Cream
Apply this nail repairing cream around your cuticles and onto your nail beds gently massaging the substance and the effect will be more than evident in 14 days. The cream containing vitamins and essential oils nourishes and moisturizes the skin, struggling against flaking and peeling of your nails. Buy it here!
• Butter London Horse Power Nail Fertilizer
This nail strengthening nail polish is again destined for one week appliance. Apply one coat for each day within a week, remove it and reapply for the new week. Buy it here!
DIY Therapeutic Procedures for Nails
So as to achieve the desired results with higher speed, the right diet and everyday nail treatment processes should be accompanied by DIY therapeutic baths and nail masks that are made from natural products to nourish the nails and make them more durable and solid. It is necessary to pick up two of the below mentioned recipes and apply them every other day for 10 days in a row and after that if need be to repeat the course with either the same recipes or replacing them with new ones. Here are several DIY masks and baths for your nails that will surely not take you any extra time or money.
• Lemon Nail Mask
One of the products rich in vitamin C is lemon and the effect of it on fingernails is super refreshing and strengthening. You can use this magical citrus fruit in different ways. Drip a couple of lemon juice drops on your nail plates, leave them on for 2-3 minutes, and then rinse with water. You can also divide a lemon into two halves and stick fingers into them. Essential oil of lemon can also be used as powerful nail nourishment and enhancement method.
• Lemon-Olive Oil Nail Mask
Slightly heat up olive oil in a bowl and add a couple of lemon juice drops into it, then apply the mixture on hands and wear gloves over it to leave them on for 20 minutes up to keeping hands masked the whole night. There is another alternative of this mask – putting hands into heated olive oil for 10 minutes every evening for at least one week. Olive oil easily penetrates through the nails nourishing them, softening and moisturizing the cuticles and allowing for faster nail growth and recovery.
• Berry-Based Nail Mask
The main rule while making this DIY nail mask is to select only sour berries, like for instance, cowberries or red currants. Blend a handful of berries into a congeneric substance; add 2 tbsp. double cream and 1 tbsp. oatmeal to it, and apply the substance on hands wearing gloves and staying in such a state for 20 minutes. This mask will enrich the nails with all necessary acids and microelements that will promote the nail recovery process after gel manicure.
• Lemon-Soda Nail Mask
Your post-gel nails at times look very pale or with yellow stains, so this mask will make them shine with all their beauty. For making this mask you just need baking soda, which has an exfoliating effect and lemon, which is natural lightener. Mix 2 tbsp baking soda with 1 tsp lemon juice in a bowl and apply the substance on the nails. After 10 minutes rinse off the nails with water and see the amazing effect.
• Gelatin-Based Nail Bath
However paradoxical it may sound, damaged nails after gel manicure may be recovered by bathing them in gelatin liquid. To make this revitalizing liquid, add 0.5 tbsp. gelatin into a bowl of hot water. After the gelatin is melted and dissolved in the water and the water temperature becomes comfortable for your hands, sink your fingertips into the liquid and keep them for 15-20 minutes.
• Salt-Iodine Nail Bath
Iodine has long been considered as one of the most compelling nail strengthening methods for nails and the appliance of it alone may also work wonders. However, combining iodine with another magical ingredient like salt may kick the nail recovery process with higher gear. There is only one restriction in this bath appliance. You should pass the procedure at night before sleeping so that by the morning the iodine color has already been faded away. So to make this liquid, dissolve 2tbsp of salt and 0.5 tsp. of iodine into 200ml of hot water and sink hands into it keeping them in water for over 15 minutes.
• Salt-Lemon Nail Bath
Dissolve 2tbsp of sea salt or common salt and 1 tsp. of lemon juice into hot water and keep hands in the water for 20 minutes.
Salon-Based Therapeutic Procedures for Nail Recovery after Gel Manicure
While homemade nail strengthening and healing masks and baths do not require anything but your everyday kitchen products like salt or lemon, thereby saving your money, there exist a couple of salon procedures that definitely guarantee perfect nail plate results in the long run, but cost an arm and a leg. Get acquainted with these 2 most popular nail strengthening methods that nail technicians are offering:
1. Sealing Wax Polish
This super nail strengthening method implies coating nail plates with a substance made from honey and beeswax. After applying this mixture on nails, there appears a thin film on nail that protects it from external stimuli, making it strong and shine with natural gloss. After all, beeswax contains a series of useful elements like carotenoids (Vitamin A), minerals, resin, propolis and beta-carotene.
2. Paraffin Baths
This is the second popular salon-based procedure that not only strengthens nails, enriching them with useful microelements, but also cures skin desquamation and dehydration, while also slowing down the skin aging and wrinkling. Both procedures should be repeated for several times for more effective results.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock
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Sophia Webster is a British shoe designer, who has been making waves in the fashion industry since the launch of her eponymous label and footwear line back in September of 2012. This is a woman who knows shoes and what makes feet look great better than most, like the back of her hand. As such, it makes sense for the winner of the 2013 British Fashion Award for Emerging Accessories Designer to put out a guide for women everywhere to be able to get the perfect pedicure to match with their party shoes. With so many parties these days, taking over our days for the next week or so, heading up to January 6th and 7th for some cultures, we most definitely need an expert’s opinion on the matter.
How exactly do you go about perfecting the way your feet look on the night of the party?
First, begin with the shoe. You can choose anything really, but it is good to have it as a conversation starter, which means booties with the addition of glittery angle wings are certainly a go. “This time of year definitely warrants a glamorous statement heel—anything with a bit of festive sparkle, whether metallic, embellished details, or crystals,” Webster told Vogue. The shoes are the ones that should talk most, particularly if you opt for simplicity in dress. Why not try a black satin Rosalind with crystal encrusted beaded heels that scream ‘Let’s Dance the Night Away’ with gusto?
Once you have the shoe to the side, you will need the polish. Look at the shoe first and then decide on the nail polish for best effects. If the heels are black, a deep red is always a good choice; metallic shoes on the other hand call for nude nails. Pearlized varnishes are definitely handy and Webster has a thing for glittery lacquer styles with intriguing names. Go for those that are quick dry if you are strapped on time. Though there is no way you should leave the house without getting some form of color on there.
“I don’t think there’s any excuse, really. If you were short on time, you could just paint the toes you can see!” How true dear Sophia speaks here for even with a husband in the cab and a baby on your hip, a quick-dry solution to nails peeking out is more than enough to clean up your outfit and have you looking picture-perfect… at least until those heels are removed.
If you plan to emulate Webster, you might want to go with glitter on your hands, even if you opt for nude for your toes. The look is timeless and ageless according to the designer and she definitely knows her stuff. Then again, it is a personal choice one makes.
Then again, according to Webster, there is no cutoff date on when you can or cannot wear glitter, whether for Christmas, New Years, your birthday or otherwise. When you have some time though and your work can be done through your phone and over email, book yourself a pedicure and have those cuticles professionally cleaned up so that the lacquer looks even better with your open toe heels.
Photo courtesy of The Londoner
When it comes to innovations, one might consider the 21st century to abound in them way too much to lean back in a soft armchair and enjoy the sweet fruits of creative minds. But nothing of the kind happens in the world to whatever sphere we look to; just on the contrary the process kicks it into higher gear.
The beauty industry comes to be one of those fields morphed into a testing ground and regularly bringing forth an array of innovative technologies and facilities, one of them being gel manicures. Below, we discuss everything about gel manicures, figuring out the main pros and cons of gel nails and learning how to apply and remove gel nail polish with maximum safety and without any scathe at home!
The modern woman actually has higher demands and accordingly higher is the quality and power of the new offerings made by the leading companies in the world. Gel nails presumptuously outstrip such popular nail techniques as acrylic nails, fiberglass and silk wraps.
The contemporary woman has many irons in the fire, so why not a wee bit facilitate her life providing her with long-lasting, super glossy and polished nails. Let us take a closer look at this new generation nail art technology, trying to draw parallels between gel nails and other nail techniques.
The Basics of Gel Nails
What are gel nails? What is it that should incite us to abandon the traditional, already-so-familiar nail polishes or no less popular durability-guaranteeing acrylic nails and to embrace these innovative formulas?
The term gel or gelatin comes from Latin word ‘gelatus’ meaning “stiff”, “frozen” which is a hydrolyzed form of collagen, a semi-solid, translucent and odorless substance that has lived its long life smoothly passing from the food industry to hair styling to nail enhancement.
Most of the beauty salons, always having their doors open to fashion-conscious women and the hearts – to their needs and demands, have in the long run come to the conclusion that gel nails are the exact final result that any woman has been long looking forward to.
See also: How to Whiten Nails At Home
Gel nails are thin, flexible, feathery light, crystalline clean, nonporous, lifting-resistant and what is most importantly – hyper durable and long lasting up to 2-3 weeks. Nails coated with gel manicures are commonly cured under a UV or LED light within 2 or 3 minutes, unlike acrylic nails that are cured by air.
Gel nails can undeniably be categorized under the list of multifunctional products by their ability to serve as natural nail overlay, tip overlay as well as the formula for nail extension and sculpture. Moreover, this new product can be applied not only on fingernails but also on toenails, in both cases providing the same enhancement effect.
Formally, we are calling gel-based extended nails artificial as well, but if we look at gel nails from a different perspective, we may adopt another outlook. Gel nails look super natural, with a polished and glossy finish and the expression “looks may be deceiving” here works in no way, as the natural nails under gel coating keep on growing in their regular rate, moreover are being strengthened and enhanced through gel formula.
That is why we prefer calling gel nails a nail enhancement method rather than artificial nails.
Drawing Parallels Between Gel Nails and Other Nail Extension Methods
Given that most of the women now are almost always over the moon with the foretaste of having fleshier lips, longer hair and more flawless face than their natural, the craze for nail extension philosophy is not so surprising.
Many a nail technician now offers an array of nail care and extension methods down the pat and among them is the latest effective technology of gel nails that has managed to outpace acrylic, fiberglass and silk wrap nail extension types.
Because of information splash now, it has become somewhat confusing to differentiate between various types of nail extension, but never mind, as we’ll now undertake that intricate process of drawing clear borders between these different notions.
Gel Nails VS Acrylic Nails
Before the emergence of gel manicures, acrylic ones were undeniably number one nail enhancement techniques due to their durability and long-lasting formula. But then those gel nails emerged and a real competition broke out between them. Actually, there are quite a lot of similarities between these two most popular nail extension techniques.
Both can be used not only for nail extension, but also over natural nail as an enhancement mechanism or over artificial nail tips. Both can serve as perfect foundation of the elegant and coquette French manicure and other nail art designs and both are the best companions for any business lady, who is short of time to regularly refresh her fingernails.
But why are gel nails so intensively outriding acrylic ones you may ask?
First and the most prominent difference is that nails coated with gel polish look much more natural with super attractive gloss on it, while acrylic nails may at times doom at their being artificial. However if we speak more minutely about the differences in their durability we can find out that acrylic nails are more long-lasting and stouter and if any single acrylic nail is damaged, it can be easily filled. In case of gel nails, the nail polish should be removed and worked out anew.
The reason mainly lies beneath their substances. Acryl comes to be a mixture of powder and liquid, while gel is rather a pre acryl state, i.e. more fluid and floating. That is why acrylic substance is so rigid and durable, thereby requiring more intricate sculpting process with a brush, while gel manicure is easily sculpted by itself once a small portion of it is placed on a nail.
Another reason that many technicians and beauty-conscious girls have recently fallen for gel nails, is that they are cured much more quickly than acrylic nails. Your gel nails may be cured within 2-3 minutes under a UV or LED light and keep on going for a long time without any peeling or smudging, while in case of acrylic nails there is no other method for curing than traditional air-drying and accordingly the process takes more time.
Whether it is safe for your skin to put it under UV or LED light regularly is just the reverse of the medal on which we will reflect later.
Additionally, just for your information, gel nails are usually more expensive in price than acrylic ones.
Gel Nails VS Fiberglass or Silk Wrap
Fiberglass or silk wrap is rather to be called a nail enhancement method, as it’s too soft to give a nail any extension. So if gel or acrylic substances are by themselves able to give birth to new nail tips, fiberglass or silk wraps are just overlaid on the existing nail or the artificial tip through special resin to strengthen the nail and to visually make it thicker.
Pros of Gel Nails
• Gel nails are obviously number one samples of natural-looking artificial nails with gloss finish and featherweight feeling.
• Gel nails are quite durable and long-lasting (3-4 weeks) compared to common nail polishes.
• Gel nails in no way damage natural nails if applied in the right way, just on the contrary strengthen thin and crispy nails, never hampering their normal growing process.
• They are cured within minutes under a UV or LED light, so while leaving the beauty salon you will already have super dry and polished nails and will be quite at ease with all your finger touches and gestures.
• The ultraviolet radiation if applied in reasonable dose is able to kill all those harmful bacteria and microbes on your nails.
• Gel nails are very flexible and versatile; that is why when it comes to various nail art designs or popular French nails, gel manicure comes to be the exact substance to work them out.
Cons of Gel Nails
• Gel nails actually are not so durable as we can say about acrylic ones. In case of abrupt temperature change, like for example entering a warm room while it is frosty winter outside, your gel manicure may get damaged, getting some cracks and chips. Likewise, it is advisable not to deal with any chemical substances so as to avoid ruining your polished nails.
• In case of even a single crack or chip on your gel nail, no touch-up will help it; it will just need fresh sculpting.
• There is no dispute that the ultraviolet radiation may kill some microbes or parasitic fungi on your nails but it may at the same time bring forth some serious side effects. The regular ultraviolet radiation contact with your fingers may in the long run engender skin cancer; so to avoid such serious problems, just do not make wearing gel nail polishes your routine procedure.
• Coating your nails with gel polishes definitely requires strong professional skills and utmost carefulness. So, attending a beauty salon, moreover having your private nail technician is a mandatory prerequisite if you are going to try on gel nails, otherwise you may cause some infection to your nails.
Besides, this technology requires having at your disposal a whole slew of tools and products (the UV light is enough) that are way expensive.
Going Deeper Into Gel Manicure
Now that you have a general idea about gel nails, what benefits they may bring to you nails and what side effects should be taken into consideration before applying this innovative substance on your nails, it is high time to smoothly pass from theory to practice, providing you with some general tips on what gel polish to choose and how to apply it at home.
From the very beginning it is worth mentioning once more that when it comes to any chemical substances such as gel polishes it is highly recommended to go to a specialist and avoid any self-maintained testings on yourself – a single misstep and you may ruin your natural nails, afterwards spending huge amount of time and money to repair them.
And one more useful piece of advice from us – if you have healthy nails that easily grow and are pleasant to look at, try to shrink from any artificial chemical substances always keeping in mind that keeping natural beauty is both uber-enticing and useful for health, while for thin and crispy nails gel coverage will work just perfectly.
Three Systems of Building Gel Nails
As it has already been mentioned, gel polish is a perfect example of multifunctionality. The transparent gel polish can be applied on the nails as an enhancement and strengthening method, while the colored ones come to be for trendy appearances. And additionally there is thicker and denser gel substance that is commonly used for nail extension processes.
Whether you are enhancing your nails or making them longer, you need careful compliance with the rules. The leading beauty brands and salons have worked out three systems of building gel nails – one-phase, two-phase and three-phase.
One-phase system is originally perfect for beginners, who want the process of building gel nails to take less time and efforts. So while working with one-phase system you will have one single gel polish pot at your disposal, acting as a base coat (primer or bonder gel), sculpting gel and top coat all at once. This system is obviously outstripping others with its express appliance, but such gel manicures are less durable.
Two-phase system includes a base coat of liquid substance and a sculpting gel that is denser in its consistency and more flexible for better nail sculpting purposes.
Three-phase system is what the high-end nail technicians mostly put into use. After coating the nails with primer and sculpting gel over it, they finish it off with a top coat that comes to play a protective role for fingernails. And important is not to mix them, say, using top coat as a primer or vice versa, as this misstep may also cause some damage to your nails.
How to Choose a Gel Nail Polish
No matter to what extent professional you are as a nail technician, your skills will instantly degrade to zero in case of applying any low quality product. So, it is worth knowing the best nail polish brands so as to provide your nails with the maximum charm and pizzazz. So, what are those brands that have so effectively spread the gel nail craze among beauty-addicted women?
• Harmony Gelish polish is the first ever bottled gel that comes to present a huge bunch of colors, promising to last for up to three weeks. Only licensed salon technicians can purchase these products straight from the brand, while consumers are free to acquire these gel nail polishes only from online independent sellers.
• China Glaze Gelaze is just another popular brand that has played a huge role in the creation and expansion of gel nails. China Glaze Gelaze polishes are available in different colors and more importantly include the base coat in the gel polishes.
• OPI Gelcolor is a new line originated by the iconic OPI nail care brand that is more specialized in nail polishes rather than on gel ones. However here you will also find a handful of gel nail polishes that are available both in stores and online.
• IBD Just Gel, another popular gel nail polish brand, has a wide variety of shades at more affordable prices.
• Sally Hansen Pro Gel offers not only a great number of shades but also some gel nails building supplies and after-gel nourishing creams, oils and lotions thus providing you with full-fledged gel nails.
Gel Nails: Do It Yourself
If you have all the same decided upon building gel nails yourself, intending to save time and money or just trying your forces in the nail enhancement sphere, we are happily sharing with you all those tips and steps that you should take in order to wear smudge-proof and enduring gel manicure over several weeks. So is you are aspiring to make your natural nails longer, then again, come here.
First of all, to build salon-worthy gel nails or to extend them you should have the following products and supplies at your disposal:
1. UV or LED nail lamp
2. Nail files, clippers and block buffers
3. Cuticle pushers
4. Artificial nail tips or special nail forms
5. Gel base coat or primer
6. Gel top coat
7. Any gel polish color upon your preferences
The Process of Building Gel Nails
• First of all prepare your nails by filing them with all kinds of nail files, clippers and buffers and then remove the after-filing dust off your nails immediately after passing to cuticles. You can use special cuticle remover (Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover) around the cuticle area, which will allow for easier procedure of pushing the cuticles off your nail plate using a cuticle pusher or orange stick.
It is also important to remove all the excess oils and debris off your nails, for which it is recommended to apply cotton ball soaked in acetone.
• Apply the first base coat on your nails with a very thin layer keeping 3mm distance from cuticles. If however the gel touches the cuticles, instantly remove it with gel remover before placing the hand under UV light, otherwise it may cause lifting to your nails. Keep the hand under the light for 2-3 minutes.
• Apply the color gel polish again with a very thin coating and put the nail under the light for another 3 minutes. Coat the nails with the second layer of color gel polish allowing for fuller color appearance and again cure them under UV light.
• Finally, apply the finishing top coat, which will protect your nails from any external stimulus and cure them under UV light within 3 minutes.
• What is left to you now is to check if there is any sticky layer left on your nails and to remove it with isopropyl alcohol and a cotton ball. Now, put the finishing touches to your nails by massaging the skin around the nails with special nourishing cuticle oil.
The Process of Gel Nails Extension
The gel-orientated nail extension process is definitely more complicated and intricate and holding the process on your own may take you more time and efforts, let alone that the result may not bring you any gratification. However if you have deft hands and some potential to take nail technician niche, we have a pretty concise tutorial for you.
Gel-based nail extension may take two forms – an express version to glue tip overlays on your natural nails and to repeat the same process as with natural nail overlay and a more sophisticated version using special nail forms and sculpting fresh new tips. The latter coming to be more intricate includes the following steps:
• Start from filing your natural nails and mind to leave a little edge so that the form can be placed under it.
• Coat your natural nails with a thin layer of base coat keeping 3mm distance from your cuticles and cure them under UV light for 2-3 minutes.
• Place the form tightly on the edge of your nails and start sculpting the artificial nails with the use of a special brush and gel structure. Cure them under UV light for 2-3 minutes.
• Continue the process by applying the second layer of gel and again cure them under the UV light.
• Next take off the stencil and start filing the extended nails, giving them your desired form – square, rounded or almond-shaped.
• Apply a thick portion of gel on your nails, stretching it from the center to different directions. Hold your palm inside down for several seconds and again cure them under UV light.
• Apply the finishing top coat on your nails; again pass the curing process and polish the skin around the cuticles with nourishing gel oil.
• Now you have a perfect canvas to work out various attractive sights. You can coat your nails with monochromatic color gel nail polishes, you can build classic French tips or maybe you have your heart set on ombre nails.
Some Tips on How to Take Care of Gel Nails
Building gel nails is just the first step; the further process requires more care and attention. When we state that gel nails last up to three weeks, we do not mean that you should lie back and just admire your super polished nails. This is definitely not the appropriate attitude required to keep your gel nails fresh for 3 weeks.
You should follow some extra tips that will provide your gel nails with a longer life.
• Usually, the allergic reaction of your skin to some components is revealed only after you already have your gel nails done. If you notice some redness or itching around the nails, do not hesitate to turn to your technician and if you have built your gel nails by yourself and have no technician yet, then immediately find a licensed one who will figure out the ingredients causing your skin an allergic reaction up to forwarding you to a dermatologist.
• While doing some housework, like washing dishes or something else, wear rubber gloves, as hot water or chemical substances may cause your nails lifting or peeling.
• Once a week make a repair appointment with your technician as the natural nails under the gel keep on growing, which can break the symmetrical appearance of your nails.
• Every now and then apply top coat on your gel nails so as to avoid chipping or yellowing especially when on the beach.
• It is also recommended to use cuticle oils or lotions on the skin around the nails as they need nourishment on a regular basis.
• If a nail is broken, do not try to repair it, as gel nails are not like acrylic ones. They need to be removed and rebuilt anew. So talking to your technician will be the best decision. Likewise, if you have already got bored with that particular color and want to remove it, do not take your own initiative. Study carefully the gel manicure removal process or else turn to your technician.
How to Remove Gel Nail Polish
Removing gel nail polish is not a regular process, either. You will need some special products at your hand. No regular acetone works here and accordingly you cannot hold the process within minutes before going out. That is why you need maximum 30 minutes for removing gel manicure from your nails. Here is what products you should acquire:
1. Gel Nail Cleanser
2. Nail files
3. Orange sticks
4. Aluminum foil
5. Cotton balls
• Start from filing the surface of your gel nails until they lose their sleek and glossy appearance.
• Cut a sheet of aluminum foil into 10 different pieces, large enough to wrap your whole gel nail.
• Soak cotton balls into gel nail cleanser liquid and put them on each of your nails, finishing off by wrapping them with foil pieces.
• Let your hands rest in such a state for 15 minutes, and then remove the foils and cotton balls to find out the gel peeling off the nails.
• With the help of the orange stick softly push the leftovers of gel off your nails and if there are any pieces still adhered to your nails, go over with the same process until all the gel nail polish is removed.
• If you are a beginner remove the gel off your nails working on each hand individually.
Photos courtesy of @nailkaterina
When speaking about beauty and care, hands come to mind right after the face. Of course, we all know how strongly they affect our overall look giving that gorgeous glam finish. Everyone would agree that women’s beauty standards force us to consider longer and slimmer nails to be perfect, while shorter ones seem a bit less feminine in terms of fashion trends. But what do we do if the nature hasn’t rewarded us with the splendid genetics of long, thin, “Bollywood star” nails? Should we just keep calm and jealous of those, who were lucky on this side? No way! There are certain ways to make our short nails look longer, nice and absolutely fantastic!
One thing you should know for sure is that short nails have their advantages: they are handier, less messy, and easier to take care of and do any handwork faster without worrying about how fast they could break! You could imagine the inconveniences of having super long nails, when, say, you want to do household chores, wash the dishes or simply play with kids.
In addition, those with shorter nails have more opportunities to have fun with cool nail designs and polishes changing unimaginably huge amount of variants every day. As an ironic fact, many funny nail designs do not look as winning on long nails as on shorter ones.
Nail Care Tips to Make Short Nails Look Longer
However, no matter how well we realize these facts, we still love the elegant, womanly look that longer nails give to a girl. Here is how you can make your short nails look longer and nice.
See also: Meanings of Rings on Different Fingers
First you should take good care of your hands. Your smooth skin and well-shaped nails are essential when achieving that exceptional look. Start from using hand creams and oils periodically to moisturize your hands and make them tender like a baby’s skin.
Then get a clean, quality tool kit – scissors and nail files are a must-have to shape and smoothen the surface of your nails. Do not forget about a sheet of paper or a towel on which you can put your hands (that is to avoid any mess around).
To add a little length to your short nails you can do finger massage and take back the cuticles (with your fingers or any flat tool at hand). If need be, cut the excess edges of cuticles, though be careful so as not to harm the skin: if cut more than needed, the skin might start slicing.
Next, you shape the nails with nail files. When choosing the right shape, follow your natural nail lines and make sure they look harmonious with your fingers. In most cases, you had better do the oval or almond shapes: no matter how fashionable the square nails look, they do not do any good to your nail length.
Best Nail Polish Shades to Make Short Nails Look Longer
Once you are done with nail care and nail shaping, the time has come for painting them. Before applying any color, you should use a nail polish base, which makes an essential step. It acts like a makeup primer for nails sleeking the tone and protecting the nail from getting yellow stain-like coverage.
Best choice of base texture is matte for a more blended look. Once the base is dry, apply the color. The right choice of nail polish plays a crucial role in lengthening the nails. We must note that the range of polishes is quite wide, so you are not limited at all.
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• The best choice for short nails will make the nude or pastel nail polish colors. Once you put away your thoughts about them being dull, you will be positively surprised how beautiful they look on your nails.
The thing is that they visually continue your finger line making it look slimmer and thinner. You had better choose a color one shade lighter than your skin tone to get the best results.
However, oddly enough, chalk white is the worst decision for short nails, so try to avoid it.
Start applying the nail lacquer right from the center of your nails, keeping it closer to its back and slowly moving the brush towards the edge. Repeat the step for three-four times to cover the surface.
You might well leave 1mm nail surface uncovered close to the cuticle to prevent the paint from getting onto your finger skin.
• Dark colors look amazing on short nails. Contrary to the common thought that dark nail lacquers are only for long nails, they actually create a great opportunity to lengthen your nails.
Polishes of dark blue, rouge or even black colors draw the whole attention to the shape of nails.
One tip you should use here is to leave about 3-4mm space from each side of the nails uncovered. This will create the illusion of slimmer nails while the sides will blend in with your fingers.
• Red is a perfect choice. In fact, red looks glamorous on any shape and length of nails. Using the same technique of dark colors apply your favorite reds and go!
• The texture of your nail polish is no less important. Matte colors are an always-winning variant. A slight shimmer in the polish will draw attention to your hands so it can easily be used, while glitter should be avoided when it is applied on all nails: it will break up the line with your finger and only make your nails look shorter.
• Choose shades of the same color family and apply one on each finger going from light to dark. Colors like pinks, violets, blues or greens look extremely nice on short nails.
• “Inner circle” is a trend that you will long fall for. There are light half circles naturally at the inner corners of our nails close to cuticles.
When painting these with light polishes and creating a contrast with bright colors on the rest of the nail surface, you will have that perfectly long and slim finger look.
• Go for one-accentuated-nail manicure. Painting matte polishes on all fingers you can use glitter on your ring fingers. That will emphasize the whole design of the manicure distracting from the nail length.
• Be free to use patterns on your nails. This can look magical if used the right way. Tiny dots that start from the edge and go up to the middle will visually make the nails longer.
The opposite variant works no worse. Flowers, hearts, or abstract patterns which cover the half of the nails are at your disposal, so go ahead playing with them!
• Stripes, stripes and again stripes! Vertical stripes help to elongate the nails better than anything else. Depending on your tastes, you can apply a single stripe per nail as well as several on each.
When choosing bold bright colors for the base, thin horizontal shiny silver stripes will also look fine. Here you should create the contrast between the stripes and the base for them not to blend.
• Making accent on single fingers gives you the chance to apply your loved chalk white polishes. You only need to combine it with matching colors. Neon green or pink will fit best.
• French manicure is just for you! All girls with short nails like messing with different variants of French manicure.
Here you are free to use any color combinations you like, starting from white or beige with nude or transparent base to graphic shades with sparkles. If you like the match, go for experimenting.
You can even apply white matte as a base and then add lines or dots to the edges of your nails. By the way, the dots do not have to be of the same color.
• Diagonal stripes are another incomparable variant when elongating short nails. Choose rouge, dark green and gold glitter and apply them diagonally in turn. You will fall in love with the results at once.
• If you have sharp eye and steady hand, go for painting ethnic patterns and animal prints. These are now among the current nail trends and will make everyone stare at your hands at any party you go. You are free to paint them on any fingernail you want from one accentuated nail to all ten.
• Candy prints we all liked since childhood are there for us. Paint tiny colorful dots, put shiny stones and stars on your nail polish while it is still wet and your fun look is guaranteed.
• For those with really steady hand we recommend drawing jewels on your nails. You can draw chains, beads or rings on your nails creating a gorgeous party or red carpet manicure. Black will be the ideal base for that.
• One way of French manicure you will love for the rest of your life is covering your nails with nude polish that matches your skin tone and then painting the tiniest white line on the edges of your nails. Do not follow your natural nail line. This way your fingers will look effortlessly splendid, long and visually slimmer.
Once your main color polish is dry, apply a transparent quick dry top coat to make the nails extra smooth and shiny. Make sure you keep the line of the paint and not cover the sides you left with foundation; otherwise, they will shine and give out your little “cheating”.
Your overall glamorous look will be more enhanced if you have matching nails and toes design. That will tell about your attentiveness to details, which is one of your chief goals.
Finally yet importantly, remember that regardless of the design and shape, you nails will look their best when they are healthy, just as your whole body.
Photos courtesy of Tuula Vintage, Viva Luxury Blog
While intricate nail art designs are capable of concealing the yellowness of your nails, there are times when you want to go natural or wear the classic French manicure and it’s here that you start to wonder how to whiten nails easily. Yellow nails look unhealthy and unflattering, however, fortunately this problem can be easily and completely diminished and you really don’t have to visit beauty salons for this. Here are some easy methods of whitening nails at home using professional tools and natural remedies.
Causes of Yellow Nails
The nail bleaching process is absolutely safe for health and simple. Certain formulas are applied to the nail plate to remove the yellow stains and brighten up the surface. Your choice of this or that type of bleaching method should depend on the cause of the yellowness. Among the common causes we can mention smoking, fungal infections, in case of which the nail gets a brownish yellow coloring and even has an unpleasant smell, and other health problems, including vitamin and mineral deficiency. Another common problem can be the lack of oxygen, when the nails can’t breathe well as a result of which they turn yellow. So it’s a good idea to consult with the doctor prior to taking any nail bleaching measures.
The frequent use of nail lacquers can also give the unpleasant yellow coloring to your nails, so make sure to take breaks in between your manicure procedures. For example, you can have polished nails for some 5 days and then take a break of 1-2 days. It’s also a good idea to pick special nail varnishes that don’t contain formaldehyde in their formula, which is the exact ingredient that leads to yellow nails.
Using Whitening Nail Pencils and Polishes
In case you are looking for a quick solution to the problem, you can use a whitening nail pencil, which actually brings only temporary results. Such pencils are basically for creating the famous French manicure and aren’t meant for bleaching the nails, however, you can use them for such purposes too. You need to apply it on the inside of the nails, preferably before going to bed, since the paint easily washes off and it’s advised to keep it on for an overnight. In the morning, when you wash your hands, you’ll notice that your nails have become slightly whiter.
Whitening nail polishes are other types of products usually used to whiten nails, which actually prove to be quite effective. You just need to apply it like an ordinary nail polish covering the entire surface of your nails. Make sure you pick ones that contain titanium oxide in their formula, if you want really quick improvements.
To prevent any stains on your nails you can always brush a base coat over your nails prior to applying your nail polish. On the days when you don’t want to use any nail polish colors, you can simply wear the base coat.
Natural Remedies for Whitening Nails
Surely the best and most effective remedies for yellow nails are those based on natural ingredients you can take right from our kitchen. Such treatments don’t cost much and you are sure of the naturalness and usefulness of the formula used. Here are some really effective DIY nail whiteners you can use to get rid of the problem!
• Soda: Take 1 tbsp of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 2,5 tbsp of baking soda and mix them in a bowl until you get a smooth paste. Apply the paste with a cotton swab on the surface of your nails and under the nail tips. After some 3 minutes, wash off the paste using lukewarm water. Even after the first application you’ll notice great improvements, however, you need to repeat this treatment once every six to eight weeks for better results.
• Lemon: Lemon is a great remedy not only for skin, but also for yellow nails. The easiest way of using it is squeezing some lemon juice and applying it on the nails. Wait for 5-7 minutes and rinse off the lemon with warm water. This procedure might cause dry skin, so make sure to apply a nourishing hand cream on your hands.
• Lemon + Soap: Another method of using lemon for whitening nails is taking ¼ cup of lemon juice and mixing it with 1 cup of warm water and 1+2 tbsp liquid soap. Soak your nails into the mixture and wait for some 5 minutes. Wash your hands with lukewarm water and apply a lotion or moisturizing cream.
• Lemon + Soda: Both lemon and baking soda are effective nail whiteners and the combination of the two will be a powerful remedy for your nails. Combine 1 tbsp of lemon juice with 2-3 tbsp of baking soda getting a smooth paste. Apply the paste all over the surface of your nails and underneath the nail tips, leaving it on for 10-15 minutes prior to washing it away with soap and water.
• Lemon + Salt: Take equal proportions of lemon juice and salt and stir them in a container, getting a scrub consistency. Apply your DIY nail scrub on your hands and the nails, waiting for 5 minutes. Wash your hands with lukewarm water and you are done.
• Toothpaste: A regular whitening toothpaste can whiten not only your teeth, but also yellow nails. You need to simply apply it on your nails and then rinse with warm water after waiting for 5 minutes. Repeat this procedure a few times a week to notice great improvements.
• Sea Salt: Add a few tbsp of sea salt into 250 ml of warm water and soak your nails into the mixture, waiting until the solution cools. Then simply rinse your hands with lukewarm water.
• White Vinegar: Take 250 ml of warm water and mix it with 1 tbsp of distilled white vinegar in a bowl. Soak your nails into the solution, waiting for 8 minutes. Rinse your hands with lukewarm water and apply a lotion or moisturizing cream.
You are sure to get rid of the yellow stains on your nails using any of the above-mentioned remedies, as well as leading a healthy lifestyle, which is exactly what you need to stick to in order prevent any further complications.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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We love our nail polish, those gorgeous lacquers that come to our aid in our times of need and which have the power to really amp up our fashion sense. No matter what patterns we choose to paint with, which colors shine brightly on our nails or what form of studs and glitter appear on our toes, at the end of the day, it’s all part of our style and outfit ensembles. They certainly do have a rather intriguing effect on our moods, brightening up our days with their sheens and shimmers until we have a bad day and our favourite polishes turn on us by smearing, smudging and scuffing instead of laying smooth on the nail beds. There are, however, some rather interesting and easy DIY nail polish hacks to ensure your digits never see a less than perfect polish finish again.
1. Intensity of the White Coat: You will find that painting white nail polish underneath your desired lacquer will intensify the color and really make your finger pop! It’s like using white shimmer shadows underneath your color shadows on your eyes to really bring out the hues. Using black polish, on the other hand, will deepen the darker colors and bring the focus back to other parts of your body, particularly your face.
2. Brush it off: When you are putting polish on your own nails, chances are that you are going to get it outside the lines and onto your skin. Using an old concealer brush dipped in acetone to clean up the mess and fix up the lines will really help in keeping the polish off your cuticles.
3. Jelly it up: You will be surprised to read that the best way to keep excess nail polish from appearing on your skin and cuticles is to use an old wives’ favourite: the petroleum jelly known commonly as Vaseline. Use a Q-tip to trace the jelly along the edges of your nails and voila! It will naturally keep the polish in the lines and magically save the day!
4. Easy Protection: Scuffs, fuzz and hair are all too common on nails that we think are finished and polished. In order to keep the lacquer from damage, add a drop of cuticle oil directly on top of the polish for maximum effect. It’s nothing special, but it does its job rather well.
See also: How To Paint Your Nails Like A Pro
5. Prolonging Wear: It’s probably one of the worst things to see your nail chipped a few hours or a day after you have just spent an arm and a leg on a manicure and pedicure combination. In order to prolong the life of your polish and keep chips away, add a top coat at some point within every 24 hours, keeping it shiny and fresh for a longer period of time.
6. Quick Dry: Sometimes the problem lies not in putting on the polish but having it dry out quickly enough to be able to run out the door as soon as possible, which is probably why you should allocate a few hours of down time if you plan on getting a proper manicure. That’s just not possible in today’s world, however, and our polishes suffer for it all the more. To dry faster, however, you can just dunk those pretty fingers of yours in a bowl of ice water and you will love how fast you won’t have to worry about getting it damaged as much anymore.
7. For Easy Removal: If you want to paint those nails in a funky color or add loads of glitter that you really don’t want staying on for long, use school glue, particularly the Elmer’s brand that you paint on like a base coat before adding the lacquer you want. Whenever you want it gone, just peel off the glue and you are ready to go. You do not need to find any products, cotton balls aluminum foils, etc.
8. Smoothing Stick Polish: Oxygen and heat are the culprits in making nail polish go sticky on us. In order to prevent this unwanted phenomenon, keep your polish lids tightly closed and put away from direct sunlight that might affect their consistency. The best place you can store your polishes is actually in the fridge or a cold cellar.
9. Unsticking Lids: One of the most frustrating things that can pane with our nail polish bottles is for the lids to get stuck after use. This can be preventing by using a paper towel and acetone to wipe off the excess polish from the rim, which also in turn helps keep the polish fresh.
10. Even it Out: For some strange reason, the cream or white polishes are always watery and streaky when we want to use them. In order to even out the consistency, use a ridge-filling base coat and it should help keep things smooth without any unseemly designs.
11. Setting the Manicure: You can use something as simple as an oil spray from your kitchen to help set your manicure and prevent smudges. It’s not your typical tip, but it certainly is a useful one and doesn’t require any special products to do the job correctly.
12. Prevent Chipping: You will be using that top coat anyhow, but don’t forget to run the clear polish along the edge of your nail, not the cuticle side, in order to seal off the raw edges of the posh that might be the culprits in chipping away at your fresh manicures.
13. Multiple Coatings: You will notice that applying thick layers leaves your nails prone to smudges and damage, while applying thin layers in multiple coats does a better job in keeping your digits looking their best in clear, colorful and fresh lacquered layers.
14. Lick it Smooth: Perhaps one of the funniest hacks when it comes to fixing nail polish smudges is by licking the finger and smoothing it out. You shouldn’t be eating it of course, but the saliva reacts with the polish to soften and blend the surface, ensuring you don’t have to walk around with smudged polish again.
15. Steer Clear of Fans: Despite the fact that salons love to put you in front of fans to help dry your nails faster, you are in truth creating bubbles and likely even ripples in your still wet nails. Instead, just let it air dry or opt to soak in iced water after a few minutes of letting it set.
Photo courtesy of Vogue
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We don’t always have time to visit the nail salon and sometimes we are just strapped for cash and could have the money spent on pampering ourselves go towards more vital needs, such as food, gas, etc. When it comes down to this, we need some help in the do-it-yourself nail polish department since we all know that over half the time the results of our doing our own nails means chips, smudges and other such mistakes that can cost us quite a bit. We often have to remove it all and try again from scratch, from the base to the top. When these mishaps do occur though, instead of taking the longer route, you may be able to use some of these DIY manicure tips and tricks to fix up the blunder made and have your nails looking perfectly savvy when you walk out that door.
Emergency Fix for Chipped Polish
According to Michelle Saunders, manicurist for Essie, if you begin to see slight chipping at the ends of the nail, take out a buffer, smooth it out, add a ridge filling base coat, a layer of color, and then another topcoat. This will not only cover up the chips but will ensure the lacquer lasts for another week at the least.
On the other hand, if you are using sparkly nail polish, Jin Soon Choi, who is a fashion manicurist and founder of JINsoon Nails, says you can’t go wrong as the polish in itself will work as a camouflage agent, wherein you can fix the chip by also adding some nail art in the form of lines or sponge art. If you have larger nicks that you need to fix up, however, just take the color and dab it over the damaged region. Make sure you do not smooth it all over the nail, as this will only amplify the look of the chip according to Deborah Lippmann.
Emergency Fix for Nail Breaks
Nail breaks are a terrible problem and fixing them is not so easy. You can, however, make a sort of nail Band-Aid using a small corner of a tea bag placed on the crack and then carefully dotting with glue so that it sticks back together. This will be like a cast for the nail and the texture can be smoothed down with a buffer according to Katie Jane Hughes.
Emergency Fix for Sheet Marks
Often we don’t have time to change our polish other than before going to bed and we may wake up with sheet marks on them. To beat the damage, add ridge filler on top, another coat of the lacquer nail color and a thin topcoat to prevent any further damage and smooth out the existing look.
Emergency Fix for Polish on Skin
When you have gotten polish on the skin, use a thin angled eyeliner brush that you have dipped in the remover, or even an orange wood stick, sans the cotton that is prone to leaving fuzz behind, according to Choi. This may be a problem you run into quite a few times while working on those nails.
Emergency Fix for Smudges
Saunders believes that after every manicure, one should wipe any smudges off the cuticles by using cuticle oil, creating a slick barrier over the polish that’s still wet. Also, a touch of acetone nail polish remover should come in handy, cleaning out the smudges of color that are still wet on your fingers.
Emergency Fix for Layer Mishaps
We normally would not use acetone on the nail unless we want to remove the whole of the manicure job on the finger, but you actually can just skim through the top layer, leaving the bottom layers untouched. Just make sure you don’t put on too much pressure, says Hughes, as that would mean more problems for you. Also, do work quickly before it dries out fully.
Photo courtesy of Allure
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We love our painted nails looking all fresh and sexy, ready to go out for a night on the town. What we don’t realize is that there is a certain way to paint them and there are mistakes we should be avoiding if we want the perfect DIY manicure. Even your professional manicurist might be making these mistakes. Those 30 minutes you put into getting a manicure per week should be relaxing and not thinking about all the ways this half hour is going wrong. So here are some manicure mistakes to watch for, that can lead to a bad manicure session because a personalized pampering at the family salon was cheap and fast.
Every salon is different and we shouldn’t be generalizing to everyone, but what many do is just follow a routine, from the filing and buffing to the painting and nail design. Some places even let you customize your appointment, depending on how much you are willing to spend on the experience.
1. Do not cut those cuticles: Honestly, we have no idea why so many salons continue to do so, but cuticles are important in keeping out bacteria and cutting them is the worst thing you can do. You should only be pushing them back as far as they go, not removing them. To push them back, use cotton covered orange sticks instead.
2. Don’t oversoak: This is another problem beauticians seem to have a lot more than individuals doing their nails themselves. You should be soaking the nails in warm water for a few minutes, but nothing longer than that, which only makes your fingers look pruney and the nails become brittle. You don’t want to weaken the skin either. Furthermore, you should not be using products in that water unless they are fully natural.
3. Don’t use quick-dry polishes: A quick dry topcoat is often used at most salons so that you can go back to working on whatever you were working on. The problem is that while the topcoat may dry, the undercoat still needs time and those dreaded smudges become a major problem. A smudge or a dent in a fresh manicure after you have just left the salon angers even the best of us.
4. Don’t make too many color coats: Two coats of the color lacquer are more than enough to get the look you want. Any more and you’ll be looking at too thick, gloppy, dented, chipped, smudges or just simply gross looking nails. You want them to look perfect and if the color just isn’t the right consistency, we suggest changing the lacquer and not just adding coat after coat like a teenager trying to get things right.
5. Don’t forget to use the tools: Some nail artists think that using their hands instead of a tool to get the job done will be more efficient, while in reality it just ends up causing problems with sanitation. Sometimes they sue a fingernail to wipe away a bit of polish that escaped the nail but that just isn’t right. You shouldn’t even do so on yourself, instead using a sanitized tool to keep things clean and polished.
Photo courtesy of Essie
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