Every Sunday, I like to spend a couple hours pampering myself and beautifying. It feels wonderful to dedicate time to my appearance. Last year, I had decided to try out acrylic nails for a few months, but honestly I wasn’t so pleased with the results and it was incredibly damaging as well. So I decided to just do it myself. This way I could control what I put on my fingernails, as well as make them look exactly as I want. Read on to see my procedure.
These are my nails right after I scrubbed off my previous manicure. They’re a bit ragged looking since I have a bad habit of peeling my nail polish off once it starts to chip haha. Since I maintain the shape weekly, I usually don’t need to file them. However on the occasion that I break a nail or chip one, I use a metal nail file to create a rounded tip. I also find that shorter nails or more flattering on me, and easier to maintain to boot. However I like to experiment so I’m currently growing them out.
The first step is pushing back my cuticles. I found this cuticle oil and cuticle pusher on Amazon. It smells pleasantly light and moisturizes my cuticles well. I simply apply a drop each of my nail beds, wipe it all over using a cotton ball, and then gently push away at my cuticles.
Tip: Do this carefully! I’ve cut myself on multiple occasions because I applied too much pressure.
Next, I apply a base coat. I actually never used a base coat until recently, which is terrible, I know. I realized I needed to use one when I removed a vivid red color from my nails and it had stained my nails a bright yellow! Base coats protect your natural nail from this happening and they also help your nail polish adhere better. This one is from Essie. In case I don’t want to paint my nails any particular color, I also use this as a simple clear coat.
Tip: Make sure you cover the entire surface of your nail with the base coat, and let it dry completely before you move on to the next step. Or else you’ll end up with unattractive streaks.
Now it’s finally time to add color and sparkle! The three polishes I used are all by Essie: All Daisy Long, Summit of Style, and Turquoise & Caicos. I chose to alternate the white and turquoise shades, and topped the turquoise with gold glitter. For the color to show up more opaquely, I needed to apply two coats of each polish.
Tip: Sometimes it’s fun to make your nails completely different from each hand. Add some personality with gems, patterns, stickers, etc. I love using nail stickers because they’re so simple and fuss-free.
The last step is to seal everything with a top coat. Again this one is from Essie – Good to Go. After applying this, I simply have to wait 10 minutes for my nails to dry and I’m ready to go about my day hehe. While my nails dry, I just watch Youtube or listen to music because I don’t want to ruin my fresh manicure.
Tip: I run my nails under cold water and find the polish dries faster that way!
And there you have it: my manicure routine. I would say the entire process takes around an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the complexity of my nail art. Most days I keep it quite simple, but I want to try something crazy soon – maybe marble or agate nails!
Hope you enjoyed this post! I love doing my own nails now, and I hope to get better at it in time.