10 Steps for a Perfect Manicure

Step 1
Make sure all current nail polish is removed.

Step 2
Clip nails first if necessary and then file (in one direction) to get your tips square, round, or somewhere in between.  Buff the tops and sides of your nails lightly with a nail buffer (not your emery board) to create a smooth surface.

Step 3
Soften your cuticles with oil or lotion and then push back gently with a cuticle stick.  Your cuticles protect your nails from bacteria and keep them soft, so avoid cutting them.

Step 4
Exfoliate hands, wrists, and forearms with a hand scrub that eliminates dead skin cells and replenishes moisture.  Use a nailbrush to clean under nails.  Wash hands afterward and dry them thoroughly.

Step 5
You can put some hand cream on your hands to avoid smudging almost-dry nail polish later.  take the opportunity to give yourself a mini hand massage – just because you’re not at the spa doesn’t mean you can’t relax.  To finish wipe each nail with nail polish remover.

Step 6
Apply a base coat to hydrate and protect the nails and to prevent them from chipping.  Wait for 2 minutes between each coat, starting with the base coat.

Step 7
Now for the fun part.  Apply a coat of your favourite nail polish being sure to get the brush all the way down to the cuticle and into the corners of the nail.  Maximum coverage on the first coat makes the second coat a breeze.

Step 8
After two minutes apply the second coat of nail polis.  Sheer glazes may require a third coat for full coverage.

Step 9
Apply the topcoat which protects your manicure from chipping and adds shine to the nails.

Step 10
Clean up any mistakes or wobbly edges by wrapping a piece of cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover around the end of your cuticle pen and carefully going over the edges.  If you are using nail polish remover pads, simply fold one into a triangle for more precise application.  Let the nails dry an additional five minutes