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Ten Steps to Give yourself an at Home Manicure

This is a fun, easy, and safe way to achieve polished fingernails without paying the higher beauty store prices when going through these ten steps. This is for adults only, or to do with adult supervision for younger girls, always keeping safety in mind, and always putting the products up safely after use.

Before beginning, wash your nails thoroughly, even with the polish on your fingernails. Try to get your nails clean underneath your nail cartilage where it is not attached to the skin before beginning. If you notice growths, tiny knobs under there, or any redness or dirt substance that does not come out from under your fingernail bed, stop this process, and go to see a medical doctor.

You will need:

  • 1 pack of cotton balls (cotton wool balls)
  • 1 fingernail polish remover
  • 1 emery board
  • 1 nail trimmer
  • 1 cuticle remover
  • 1 bottle of fingernail polish
  • A couple of paper towels

Nail polish removing

Firstly, take out as many cotton balls as needed one at a time, and safely douse each fingernail with nail polish remover, until your whole fingernail is your natural true color (colour). It is available now at the stores in bottle or sponge form.

For the sponge type, you have to dip your finger into the container, usually a plastic one, and swish your finger around frequently checking it to make sure your fingernail polish is coming off.

For the fingernail polish in the bottle (without a sponge embedded in it), you have to carefully tip it over using the cotton ball at the top to stop the liquid from spilling out and it is recommended that you have some paper towel handy to wipe off any excess fingernail polish remover that spills over as a result.

Whichever fingernail polish remover you choose, swab your fingernails one by one until they are your natural color (colour).

If you frequently use nail polish, your natural nail can become tinged with yellow, not to be confused with bold yellow, and not red or green, or swollen. If your fingernails or fingers start to become red, green, or swollen, seek medical attention immediately.

If you are doing ok and your nails are now their natural color (colour) go to step 2.

Filing your nails with an emery board.

Next, you should have what is called an emery board. An emery board is usually a very inexpensive fingernail board used for filing down rough nail surfaces that is rough on the surface at least on one side. An emery board should not be used to scrape your natural nail surface at all. It will make your smooth fingernails rough.

You can use the emery board quite effectively on the end of your nail, in order to give it a consistent shape and make the tip of your nail smooth, not rough. Emery board comes in all shapes and sizes, and you can even look for one to fit your personality or wardrobe color-wise. As soon as you are done smoothing the tips of your nails in a uniform manner, proceed to the next step 3.

Trimming your fingernails.

A fingernail trimmer is used in your home nail process when you want to reshape or shorten your nails more efficiently than with an emery board.

You can make your fingernails shorter using fingernail clippers, which are clippers that are small in size, designed to fit your nail shape and be able to cut your fingernail without doing any damage, but care should still be taken.

You should trim your nails at least once a month if they are healthy. Never trim unhealthy, discolored (discoloured) or brittle fingernails. Never trim your nails to the quick, which is the place where your fingernail cartilage meets your skin.

Be mindful of safety, even at this stage of the process. If you have hypoglycemia, or any other disease such as Parkinson’s or nerves, do not clip your own fingernails if you might have an issue of safety. Some fingernails are hard and take some sharper fingernail cutters to cut through them. If this is the case with yours, you may want to consider going to a salon or a simple medical visit and have a professional trim them, however, if not, trim away. This is mostly a basic and fun procedure for most people.

Then start with step #4.

Cuticle removing.

Next, you need to use your cuticle remover to remove your cuticle, or actually push it down. Your cuticle is that soft skin that forms at the bottom of your fingernail at the place where your fingernail cartilage and your skin meet. Its job is to cover the place where your nail cartilage meets your skin, and make a smooth transition for that to happen. As your fingernails grow, your cuticle skin stretches, and this process of removing your cuticle pushes back that excess to promote your nail growth and health.

Again, you would want to check your cuticle area for rashes, redness, swelling, discoloration of any kind, and if any of those issues are present in your cuticle, seek the advice of a medical professional before pushing it back.

If you find that it looks pretty much like your fingernail and finger color (colour), but with a different smoother and softer texture, go ahead and push the cuticle back with the cuticle remover, which is a little stick like device with a softer but firm tip made especially for the cuticle. It is not a cutting type tool. It looks a little shorter than a chopstick, but has a necessary soft tipped end to make sure that your cuticle does not get damaged.

Push back your cuticles one at a time using the cuticle removing tool. These are available from nearly any beauty supply store, or store that carries fingernail accessories of any kind. These are also relatively inexpensive.

It is important to note that if at any time in your process your nails start to bleed mildly or a lot, stop this procedure at once. This is not likely to happen in a normal fingernail manicure, but it may be a warning of a problem with your own nails that may need medical attention.

Pick a color (colour)

Now you are ready to pick out a nail polish color (colour) from your own home nail polish collection. Pick out a color (colour) that matches your skin coloring (colouring), outfit styles that you wear, or shade of lipstick.

If you polish your nails frequently, make sure that you give them one or two days to air out and breathe naturally to promote healthy nails in between polishes.

Application of finger nail polish color (colour)

Each bottle of nail polish comes with it's own applicator inside the bottle, attached to the handle of the fingernail polish bottle. Just unscrew the top and scrape off the excess fingernail polish on the fingernail polish brush applicator on the side of the bottle itself. You can use a paper towel for this process, but you may end up with paper towel residue mixed into your color (colour) so I would not recommend it.

Also, you need to make sure that you have a steady hand for this in order to get your finger nail polish on your fingernail area only, not on your skin. Skin always needs to breathe, and cannot with polish on it.

When you are ready, take the applicator holding non-dripping color (colour) to your nails, brushing from the base of your fingernails upward towards the top tip of your nail. Make sure you coat your whole nail evenly. Starting at the base of the nail and applying polish in an upward motion helps you evenly coat your nail.

Correcting polish mistakes.

If you make a mistake, take a paper towel and douse it with nail polish remover, as you did with the cotton ball in step one, and try to get the excess polish off your skin using the flat edge of the paper towel. Then, if you need to re-coat that fingernail, go ahead. If not, great. Just move on to the next fingernail until you are done.

Second coats of nail polish.

Wait at least ten minutes before applying a second coat. You should not paint over your nails until the previous coat is completely dry. Without air, or low to medium speed fans blowing on them, it will take about five minutes for your fingernails to dry. Using high-speed fans near your wet nail polish can move your fingernail polish around your fingernail and mess its even coat up.

Quick drying nails.

You can buy the quick drying kind of nail polish at the stores, or a quick drying, clear sealer that is painted over the color (colour) of your nail polish to quicken drying if you are in a hurry.

As a reminder, do not attempt to polish your fingernails in an area that does not have proper ventilation and do not polish your nails around close to infants.

Save and print this article to have your own home fingernail painting party repeatedly.

This is a fun and easy way to polish your own nails at home without paying the higher priced salon prices. Save this article, and print it out for your own fingernail painting party. Use this time as a de-stressing technique for you while beautifying your fingernails, or use this time as a special and fun group nail polishing time, inviting your closest family and friends to have a home nail polish party with you. 

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