The holidays are here (winter break from school just started today!). I’m a fan of the clean and fresh look of a fresh manicure, but don’t have the patience (or really the inclination) to go to a salon. But I do have a procedure for getting a gel-like finish in an at-home manicure, which I’ll share below. Here’s how I get a perfect manicure at home (with a gel-like finish, without the ensuing damage of actual gel nails, which I avoid anyway)…
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6 steps to a perfect manicure at home
First, start with clean, dry, cut and filed nails. Then…
- Put on NailTek Foundation ridge filling base coat* (this strengthens your nails and fills in the ridges, which not only gives you stronger nails, but also gives you a smoother finish under the polish… this is especially key if you’re using a metallic/shimmery polish, as we are wont to do during the holidays).
- Put on favorite nail polish (like Chinchilly)
- Apply a coat of Gelous Nail Gel polish (it’s a “Keratain-rich” gel that basically forms a gel barrier around your nail, thus strengthening your nails, and therefore, also your polish).
- Second coat of your nail polish.
- Second coat of the Gelous polish, and while it’s still wet,
- Apply Seche Vite top coat**
*If you absolutely don’t need a ridge filler on your nails, you could use any base coat of your choice. But I like the idea of putting down a base that strengthens; Nailtek also makes another strengthening base coat (that isn’t a ridge filler), called Nailtek Intensive (it’s made for “soft, peeling nails” but even when my nails look/feel healthy, I like using this one as an alternative to the ridge filler).
**Seche Vite gets applied while your nails are still wet. Also, this stuff tends to “shrink,” so one thing I’ve noticed help this manicure last longer: “wrapping” the tip/free edge of the nail with the Seche Vite so it doesn’t shrink away/chip/pull away.
I know it sounds like a lot of steps, but…
- First of all, the process actually goes by pretty quick (you can go from step to step, waiting only like a minute between each), and
- Second, after you do the Seche Vite top coat, your nails become dry-to-the-touch very quickly.
- Third, you’re not getting it done at a salon, so you’re still saving time (and money), and also,
- Fourth, you don’t even have to leave your house!
- Finally, you can listen to an Audiobook while you engage in this act of self-grooming and self-care. (For bonus points, face mask while you work!)
IF I’m very careful with my hands, and IF I don’t wash them 100 times a day, this manicure lasts me a solid 7-10 days, which is about what I’d expect with a salon manicure. (That said, I’m rough on my hands and also wash them constantly, so your mileage may vary.)
Thus, if you have any tips you have for making an at-home manicure like this one last longer, please share them in the comments or via email… waiting to take notes. 🙂