Follow this three-part process for beautiful nails on any budget:
1. Just like the pros, make sure you have the proper nail tools ready at hand. Set out your selected nail polish, base and top coat nail polish bottles along with nail file, polish remover, cuticle clipper, orange stick, Q-tips, cotton balls and toe spacers.
2. Pour polish remover on a cotton ball and remove any old polish and oils from your nails. Soak your nails in warm, soapy water for several minutes then rinse and dry them thoroughly.
3. Use the orange stick to push back the cuticles on each finger or toe and the cuticle clipper to trim the cuticle and remove excess or dead skin from around the nail bed.
4. File each nail individually to smooth any uneven surfaces and edges.
1. Protect your nails and prevent staining by applying a proper base coat. Apply the base by starting at the cuticle and stopping at the tip of each nail. Allow the base coat at least five minutes to dry then apply your polish.
2. Do not shake the polish bottle. Instead, roll it between your palms for 10-15 seconds to remove any bubbles and make sure the color comes out evenly. Open the bottle and wipe any excess polish from the side of the brush not touching your nail. Apply the first coat of color in three even strokes. Beginning in the middle of each nail and working outward, brush on color starting at the cuticle and stopping at the tip. For smoothest coverage, brush on color in the same direction for each stroke.
3. Allow the first coat of color at least 10 minutes to dry then apply a second color coat in the exact manner you applied the first.
4. Once the color layers have dried completely, protect the polish and add extra shine by applying a proper top or 'clear' coat. This will also make your manicure or pedicure last up to one week longer without the need to retouch. Allow the top coat at least 10 minutes to dry then run cold water over nails for 30 seconds for extra protection.
1. Use a Q-tip dipped in polish remover to take off excess polish from the skin around your nails.
2. Although your polish may seem dry, avoid using your hands or putting on shoes for at another 30-40 minutes to give every layer time to completely set.
3. Once completely set, moisturize your nails by applying cuticle oil directly to the cuticle area of each nail and massaging the oil into the cuticles and nails. This will further protect your polish from cracking.
Learning how to polish like a pro requires a little practice and a lot of patience, but the end result - that fabulous flourish of color - will get rave reviews every time.