It is difficult to predict how long the quarantine will last in different countries: even if it is allowed to leave your home in your city, most likely, many service establishments are now closed, and visiting open ones is risky for everyone.
However, you should not deny yourself pleasant procedures. You always can arrange a real spa at home. The same goes for nail care.
You can do it yourself without special skills, especially since you can buy everything you need online if something is not at hand.
I learned from experts what you should know about home manicure.
What you need for the first step
On the one hand, you can make a simple manicure with the help of two or three materials: a nail file, an orange stick and varnish (and any of them is optional). But if you want to repeat the multi-stage care, in this case, experts advise to have a set of tools.
Manicure is primarily a caring procedure. I will advise you to follow this very principle, and not try to repeat the salon. For home care, a nail file, cuticle remover, soft grinder, orange stick and cuticle oil (or wax) are enough. And a hand cream, of course. Nippers are also needed to remove burrs if they appear.
But if you want to have a separate product, then you can get by in the classic way. Experts note that some people confuse cuticle oils and removers, but these products have different purposes and you should not replace them with each other.
Prepare your nails and cuticle
The preparation of the nails depends on their condition: is there a coating on them, how much they have grown and what shape they are now. For proper care, experts advise to remove the remnants of varnish and file the nails, giving them the desired length and shape.
Jennifer, a nail designer, explains that a few simple steps are enough for a good home manicure.
“The best thing you can do for your nails at home is to remove the overgrown gel polish, remove the length, push the cuticle off with an orange stick and, if necessary, carefully file the file along the side rollers (this is a rough, dry skin at the edge of the nail ), and also actively moisturize the skin with oil”.
Experts agree that it is not necessary to cut the cuticle yourself, because if you use the tools incorrectly, you can get hurt. At home, it’s better to just soften and push it away.
“I strongly do not recommend using cutting tools in your home manicure, especially if you plan to resume going to the salon after quarantine. An unprofessionally cut and unpolished cuticle grows quickly, becomes rough and fraught with burrs, which the master will have to rid you of”.
According to Anna, if you regularly look after the cuticle, it will look good without circumcision.
“I strongly advise against using apparatus and machines for manicure at home. In inept hands, they are more likely to bring unpleasant consequences and injuries than a good result”.
If you plan to apply varnish, then the nail plate needs to be cleaned and degreased. For example, after you have smeared the cuticle with a care product, it is better to rinse your fingertips with soap and water.
In addition, you can degrease nails with a simple nail polish remover if it does not contain oils. The next step may be nail polishing – however, it is not necessary at all.
Many people like to polish their nails to shine, others like matte ones. If you plan to make a coating, then you don’t need to polish your nails.
What you need for coating
Before applying the color, experts advise using the so-called base – this is a special smoothing varnish, most often a transparent shade.
It is designed to protect nails from absorbing pigments of colored varnishes, and in addition, thanks to it, the shade lies smoother. The base can also be used as a transparent coating – look for a note about this in the product description.
Next is a decorative coating. Anna recommends the use of new and fairly liquid varnishes:
“The coating must be applied in thin layers, sealing the end of the nail. Pay attention to the brush – it should be neat, not shaggy and not very thick. This will be more maneuverable, and accuracy is already a matter of dexterity. Do not try to apply the varnish as close to the cuticle as possible. It’s better to allow a slight indentation, but the coating will look even”.
You can complete the procedure by applying a fixative (another common name – top coating) – it is not necessary, but desirable. Experts indicate that such a coating can provide a beautiful gloss and longer wear.
The cuticle of the varnish that has fallen on it can be cleaned with a special corrector with a felt tip or an orange stick moistened with nail polish remover. But in order to minimize pollution, experts advise to retreat one millimeter from the cuticle when covering the nails.
And do not forget about subsequent care. Anna advises regular attention to the nails, namely lubricate them with oil, change the coating on time and clean the length if they are brittle and exfoliate.
Dermatologist Howard Sobel also points out the importance of moisturizing the cuticle as often as possible and not only during the manicure process: the drier the skin at the base of the nail, the more it is prone to burrs.
What about gel polish
It is quite realistic to make gel polish at home and without special skills, however, more tools will be needed.
For this we need a lamp and gel polishes at least. There are single-phase means – this is when only color is used, without a base and top. This option is convenient if you want to experiment on your own and wear the coating longer than regular varnish.
There are also two-phase systems – for example, color and top coat. But the most popular system, which is used in almost all stores, is three-phase (with base, color and top).
Removing gel polish can also be done without harm to the nails and at home. To do this, you need a nail polish remover, cotton pads, foil, orange stick or pusher, as well as a nail file and, preferably, a buff.
Anna, in her instructions, recommends removing the top layer of the coating with a nail file, then putting on the nails pieces of cotton pads soaked in nail polish remover, and then tightly wrap the fingertips with foil fragments. After fifteen minutes, you can peel off the coating with a pusher or stick.
The main thing that is necessary for successful removal of gel polish is patience. Materials of different brands have different resistance to the action of nail polish remover.
“If after fifteen minutes you have unwound the foil and the coating is not completely peeled off, in no case do not peel it off with force, since in this case you will inevitably lose the top layer of the nail. Instead, moisten the cotton pad again, wrap the nail in foil and hold for another five to ten minutes.”
Usually this is enough to soak even a resistant rubber base. And do not forget that the small islands of the base, which could not be removed by soaking, can always be buffed.