Saturday, January 31, 2015

DIY Manicure

If you're anything like me, you find it really difficult to sit still while your nail polish dries.  Getting a manicure at a salon helps a little bit, because I'm there and since I just paid to have someone paint my nails, I'm more likely to sit it out until they are (basically) dry.  However, when I don't have the time to make it to a salon, or have some downtime at home, I've got a semi-foolproof method of achieving the manicured look.

Tip #1  Since I can't clip my own cuticles, I push them back with my nails on my opposite hand when I'm either in the shower or when I wash my hands or after I'm finishing doing dishes.  This takes place of sitting still while your nails soak in a bowl of soapy water at the salon.  If you do this often enough, you should maintain relatively healthy cuticles to get you by between real manicures.

Tip #2  I use fresh lemons pretty regularly in my diet.  For example, a sidecar cocktail (lemon, brandy, cointreau) or lemon scones (recipes to follow!) or kale salad (lemon juice and salt are necessary to break down the kale roughage).  When ever I'm done squeezing a lemon and I'm ready to dispose of the rest, I rub my nails on the inside of the lemon to brighten my nails.  Of course this stings when I have nicks on my hand, but hey, no pain, no gain!

These tips are things to do periodically, when you remember, to round out the "manicure"

Finally, clip (and file if it suits you) your nails if you need to and you're ready to paint!

Step 1.  Gather your supplies and then use the bathroom before you get started (not fun to try to get your pants down and up with wet nails)

Step 2.  Paint your dominate hand first.  And let your one hand dry before you start the second hand.  I know my method isn't that ground breaking but it took me until I was 25 to figure it out.  I'm right-handed and I've found if I paint my right hand first, and let them fully dry - by old school waving my hand frantically or just blowing on my wet nails - I have the coordination to paint my non-dominate hand.  Also it gives me some freedom to do something with my un-painted hand if I must (which if you're like me, you'll find something you must do).  Sometimes I'll even do each hand at different times of the day if I'm too impatient for one sitting.

Step 3.  When painting each hand, blow on your nails between each coat.  And don't skimp on the top coat.  The clear top coat gives that extra shine that you always get at the salon.  I like a quick drying top coat like this one from Sephora.

Step 4.  Have your kindle or your laptop ready to go before you start painting.  If you have something to read while you're blowing on your nails, your less likely to mess up your paint job by texting or turning the page in a book or magazine.  If your hair has a tendency to get in your face or sleeves get in the way, take precautions before you start.  Or have a buddy to spot you.  It's always funny to ask my husband to put my hair in a pony tail for me or to roll up my sleeves.  Yes, this is marriage.  Haha.

Another tip for maintaining your DIY manicure, wear gloves when you do chores.  Dishes have been the demise of my painted nails on many occasions.  Although I guess it sets you up for the next DIY manicure because warm water softens up your cuticles...

Dominant hand first...

Next up, lefty...

Bright and a little moody.  Much like this winter.



I'm wearing OPI's Moon Over Mumbai, taking a little break from Essie's Wicked. My top coat is Formula X by Sephora Top Coat which is ultra-glossy and quick-drying.

What nail polish are you wearing these days?  Are you dying to wear bright spring colors yet like me?

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