How To: Give Yourself The Perfect Manicure

With a bit of practice and the right tools, you can easily save yourself $20-30 for a manicure at the nail salon.

What You Will Need

* Acetone-free nail polish remover
* Emery board
* Cuticle cream/oil
* Cuticle Nipper
* Orange stick
* Warm water in a bowl
* Base Coat
* Your favorite nail polish
* Top Coat

Basic How To

1. Start off by wiping any remaining traces of nail polish with an acetone-free nail polish remover.

2. File with an emery board so that edges are smooth and round. File towards the tip and only in one direction. Never file too deeply on the sides.

3. Apply a cuticle oil/cream to each nail.

4. Soak your fingertips in a bowl of warm water for five to ten minutes. You can also add in scented oils or salt. This will help soften the cuticles and remove any filing dust.

5. Gently scrub your nails with an old toothbrush and push back cuticles with an orange stick.

6. Using a cuticle nipper, gently remove all dead skin working around the nail.

7. Buff your nails to file the ridges and to add shine. Again, buff in one direction.

8. Apply a base coat to protect your nails from chemicals and help make your nail polish last longer. Do one stroke down the center of the nail then one on the right and one on the left.

9. Before you apply your nail polish, roll the bottle between your palms for a few seconds to warm it up for easier application. Paint the nail in three strokes – one down the center and two on the sides. Be careful not to paint the cuticle. Repeat with a second coat but make sure to let nails completely between coats.

10. Finish with a top coat and remember to cover the top edges of the nail to maximize protection. Let your nails dry for as long as you can. Follow up with a cuticle oil daily and touch up the edges and add an entire coat of top coat if the polish starts wearing off.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.

1 COMMENT

  1. hey phyllis!!! I love your blog and it’s awesome that you’re sharing make up tips to all of us! I learned a lot about make up from you! thankssss ! =]

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