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Great looking nails - an easy step by step guide

Simple steps to give yourself a beautiful manicure

Author: Donna Kelly April 23 2007

hand with nice nails

One of life's little pleasures is having great looking nails. There's just something about looking down at your hands and staring at a beautiful manicure. It's really not that difficult. Our simple step by step guide shows you how.

Step 1: Remove old polish

Using a cotton ball and nail polish remover remove all traces of existing polish. There are 2 main types of nail polish remover to choose from. Acetone removers take off the polish quickly but can dehydrate your cuticles. You might want to use Acetone removers if you are trying to remove bold, deep or bright shades of nail polish. Non-acetone removers take longer to remove polish but dry the nail and cuticle as well. Remember, if you have artificial nails, you should only use non-acetone polish remover.

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Step 2: File your nails

Only file one direction. You'll weaken the nails if you saw back and forth. Starting from the back of the nail, and going to the center, make long, sweeping strokes. Avoid metal files, they are brutal on your nails.

Step 3: Soak your hands

Fill a large bowl with soapy water and dunk your hands in it for several minutes. This helps to soften your cuticles and clean the nails. Dry your hands when done, using a paper towel, not a cotton towel. Cotton towels may leave behind lint that will show up in the polish.

Step 4: Fix up your cuticles

Use a cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles. Then use the pointy end to remove any remaining dirt from under your nails

Step 5: Apply a base coat

This helps prevent nails from staining, strengthens the nails, and also allows for a smoother application of nail polish. Your nail secretes oil, base coat helps the nail polish to adhere to your nail better. Apply a thin, not thick coat. A thick coat will just cause nail polish to smudge or take an extremely long time to dry. Make sure the base coat is COMPLETELY dry before applying nail polish.

Step 6: Apply nail polish

Rest your hand on a firm surface so your nails remain steady when being polished. When you are sure the base coat is dry you are ready to apply the nail polish. Before applying to the nail roll the bottle of nail polish, never shake it. Shaking causes air bubbles to form that will stand out when you apply the nail polish. To apply nail polish place the brush an eighth of an inch away from the cuticle - gentle pressure on the bristles will distribute the polish outward without bleeding over your cuticle. The first stroke should start from the center of your nail's base and be taken out to the tip. Then make two more even strokes. One on each side. Apply the nail polish thinly to prevent smudging then wait five minutes for this coat to dry.

Step 7: Apply a second coat

After you are sure the first coat is dry repeat step 6. Apply the polish thinly to prevent smudging. When you take time between coats it will give your nails a more even finish.

Step 8: Apply top coat

The top coat is what protects your nail polish. Before you apply the top coat, touch your nails and make sure they are completely dry. A top coat gives nails an added extra shine and looks more professional. Top coat will also help to prevent nail polish chipping and help your nail polish to last much longer. Apply top coat every few days for extra protection and shine.

Step 9: Touch ups

Almost everyone gets some nail polish on their fingers instead of their nails. The best way to clean up around the nail is by using a cotton bud. Dip the cotton bud in polish remover and gently rub around the nail to clean up any unwanted polish. It's best to wait to do this until your top coat is COMPLETELY dry.

Wishing you great looking nails!

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Comments

Posted on 26/05/08 19:40 by: noneyabiznezz

For an antique look:Take a brown, beige, black, white, or any kind of pink or light purple. Then, take some gold or something that’s an old-timey color. Take the brush and put two or three very small “dots” and then take your finger and ‘smear’ it around on the nail… it looks very cool and it also has a really cool essence to it.

You should make a section on different nail styles... this is a good one... :)


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Posted on 01/06/08 10:23 by: patience

I thought the article was good but I think for each step you should have a picture.
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