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And unless you get your nails done with an acrylic or gel overlay on a consistent basis and you're used to long or even active length nails, you may want to skip the expense of the nail tips at the salon and invite your ladies over for an afternoon of home manicures.
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- Non-acetone polish remover
- Cotton balls or Gauze pads (I actually prefer the gauze squares to cotton balls)
- Cuticle oil with vitamin E
- Cuticle sticks/pushers (which can also be used to remove polish from the skin)
- Emery board/nail shaper
- Nail Buffer Block
- Clear base/top coat
- Nail polish/lacquer in your choice of colors Tip ~ Use a nail lacquer instead of a nail polish. Lacquers last twice as long and resist chipping and wear better than an ordinary Polish.
- # Nail polish dryer fan Tip ~ Battery operated nail polish dryers are very inexpensive and a great investment for the home manicurist. Just put your fingers under the dryer for 60 seconds between each coat and you'll be sure not to smudge the polish.
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- If you already have nail polish on, use a non-acetone polish remover and either cotton balls or gauze pads to remove the polish.
- Wash your hands in lukewarm water with a mild soap then dry completely with a soft towel.
- Massage cuticles with cuticle oil to soften and moisturize.
- Use a wooden cuticle stick and gently push cuticles back - do not cut the cuticles but simply push them back away from the nail bed. Wipe excess cuticle oil off your nails.
- Wash your hands again with warm soapy water to remove the oils, and dry thoroughly.
- Use the emery board to trim and shape your nails, then buff smooth with the buffer.
- For the perfect manicured nail look, apply a base coat first. Let dry for at least 60 seconds before applying the first color coat of polish.
- Apply two coats of color polish, drying for at least 60 seconds between each coat.
- Use a clear topcoat to prevent chipping and wear to the color.
- Finish with either a finishing spray or OPI Drip Dry oil to speed up the drying process followed by at least a final 60 to 90 seconds under the dryer or longer.
You can even do this carefully as you polish, provided you don't miss and swipe the cuticle stick across the polished nail!
You can also buy purchase a nail polish corrector pen which uses the same process of gently rubbing the skin until the polish is removed.
I would advise against using any type of cotton swab on a fresh manicure as you might end up with cotton pieces stuck to your skin or fresh nail polish.