Want to have fun, fabulous nails for prom but trying to stay on budget? No worries. Boring French tip acrylics from the salon are so 2010, anyway! Save some money and get creative by doing your own nails at home. Here are five quick and easy tips you can do at home to make your tips stand out and sparkle under that hotel room disco ball.
1. Prep! Start with a glass nail file which will prevent the nails from getting vertical splits like the ones caused by a typical emery board. File nails to the same length in either a square or “squoval” shape. Make sure to file before taking off old nail polish which will help you to file your nails into shape according to how they will look when polished and help you ignore the whites of your nails, which may cause you to file unevenly. Remove old polish with nail polish remover or acetone and slather on the moisturizer (Try LUSH Lemony Flutter. It’s thick and creamy and smells heavenly too!) to moisten cuticles and to make it easier to push back cuticles with a wood stick and trim hang nails with a cuticle nipper. Finish up by using a four-way nail buffer to get rid of ridges and smooth out nails.
2. Base Coat! Always use a base coat. It helps to prevent chipping and staining as well as helps smooth out any ridges leftover after buffing. Use a strengthener as a base coat, like OPI Nail Envy, to help strengthen nails against breaking or peeling while providing a layer between nails and polish.
3. Color! Apply two to three thin coats of polish. Start with the tip of the brush in the center of the nail at the bottom, leaving just enough of a gap between the brush and the base of the nail so that the cuticles don’t flood with polish. Stroke the brush once down the middle, then once along each side of the nail, making sure to wrap the tips of the nails in polish as well. Pick a nail polish that matches or coordinates with your dress. If you want something that’s young and fun, go with a hologram glitter like China Glaze Nova or Medallion that will sparkle all night long. If you’re looking to make a statement and want a manicure that’s edgy and stands out, top a glitter polish with this season’s hottest nail fashion, crackled topcoat nail polish like OPI Black Shatter or China Glaze Black Mesh.
4. Clean Up! Use a firm, medium-sized makeup brush with a rounded tip (I like Bare Escentuals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush) dipped in acetone to swipe around the edges of the nails in order to create a perfectly clean, polished look.
5. Top Coat! Quick dry top coat, like Seche Vite or Poshe, which can be found at drug stores, is a must! Polish nails with quick dry top coat immediately after all nails are polished, while the lacquer is still wet. Make sure to wrap the tips with top coat as was done with polish. Top coat helps to prevent chipping and denting while giving your manicure a glossy finish.
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