Missing your pampering and relaxing manicure sessions? Quarantining has definitely put a full stop on those. Even after the lockdown gets lifted, it’s imperative that you would be a little skeptical going to a salon where the manicurist will come in contact with so many people. That’s why we think it’s best that you start giving yourself a manicure at home, starting right now!
We know that sounds like a lot of work, but with these easy steps listed below, you would become a master manicurist yourself. Think about all the money you will save. In addition, pampering yourself at home has therapeutic benefits too. Social distancing and being at home sure does take a toll on your mental health, feel-good things like a self-manicure is good for your sanity as well.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to do a self-manicure at home:
Step 1: Wash Your Hands
Well, we hope you all are washing your hands regularly to keep yourself safe. And it’s the first step to a self-manicure as well. Clean your hands properly and dry them completely before you move on to the next step.
Step 2: Remove Any Nail Polish
Take a cotton ball and remove any existing nail polish. You might be questioning your choice of nail polish remover - whether to acetone or not to acetone! To clarify, even non-acetone removers aren’t as gentle as expected. Plus the acetone ones work quickly so their contact with skin lasts for a short time unlike the non-acetone ones. So, we suggest buying an acetone nail paint remover.
If you have gel or acrylic nails, which you want to remove, here is the best way to do that:
First, buff your fingernails to remove the shiny top coat of gel nails. Next, take a cotton ball and soak it up in acetone. Wrap it around your finger and cover it up with aluminium foil. Repeat for all fingers. Keep them on for 10 minutes. Remove the wrap and scrape off the polish with a cuticle remover.
Here’s a step-by-step video guide to do this process:
And if you want to keep your gel or acrylic nails intact we say you just directly skip to Step 7 and end it all with Step 9.
Step 3: Trim and file your nails
Cut or trim down the nails to the desired size. Use small cuts while clipping the nails instead of tearing down the whole white part all at once. After trimming, start by filing. This can be a tricky process if you have never shaped your nails at home before. Prior to starting, make up your mind on which shape you want. Start filing the nails in one direction only. Dragging the filer back and forth on your nails can cause micro-tears in your nails and damage the fiber.
Here’s a video on how to get the desired nail shape while filing:
Step 4: Buff
Buffing makes a lot of difference during manicure sessions as opposed to what you might think. They smooth out your nails, provide an even surface for nail paint and make them shinier. If you have got a 2-way buffer, first rub it gently with the rough surface and then the smooth one. In a 4-way buffer, start with the coarser, move to the medium ones and finish with the smoothest one. Be extremely gentle while buffing and rub only as needed. You don’t want to damage your nails.
Watch this video on how to do nail buffing step-by-step:
In case, you don’t have a nail buffer, try this natural way of buffing your nails. Take a toothbrush and put a drop of shampoo on it. Rub your nails with it for a minute or so. Wash it off. Afterwards, soak your nails in a bowl of water with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp baking soda.
Watch this video on how to buff your nails without a buffer:
P.S.: If you are using these natural steps, do the buffing after soaking the nails (Step 5)
Step 5: Soak
Ah! The relaxing part. Take a pot with warm water in it (not hot, as it can damage your hands). Add a few drops of shampoo in it and soak away! This deep cleanses your hands and takes off all the residue from buffing and filing. Soaking also helps in loosening up the cuticles so it's easy to push them back. Soak for just 3-4 minutes as over-soaking can damage the nails and dry out your hands.
You can also add some other kitchen ingredients to the soak like lemon, honey, oatmeal, a few drops of olive oil, etc.
Step 6: Cuticle Care
Use the cuticle pusher to push back the cuticles. If you don’t have a cuticle pusher, just use a medicine leaf. See the end of the video in Step 4 to see how to do it. Apply cuticle cream or some vaseline if your cuticles haven’t loosened up with soaking.
Don’t use a cuticle trimmer though. Clipping away cuticles isn’t necessary. They leave your nails prone to bleeding and can cause infections.
Step 7: Scrub
Once all the nail care is done, exfoliate your hands and arms. You can use any body scrub of your choice or choose from any of these natural homemade hand scrubs:
- 3 tbsp of sugar + 2 tbsp coconut oil + 5-6 drop of lavender or lemon essential oil (optional)
- 2 tbsp coffee + 3 tbsp honey
- Soaked masoor daal + milk
- 1 tbsp of grounded almond and walnuts mixed with curd
Scrub for around 5 minutes and wash it off!
Step 8: Mask
Apply a hydrating mask on your wrists and hands! You can use the one in the manicure kit or try these hand masks with ingredients straight from your kitchen!
- 2 tbsp Gram Flour + 1 tsp Malai + a pinch of turmeric + Rose Water
- 2 tbsp Oatmeal + Aloe Vera Gel + Olive Oil
- 2 Egg Yolk + Banana Pulp + 1 tsp Lemon Juice
Keep the mask for 10 minutes and rinse it off using warm water.
Step 9: Moisturise
Use the moisturization step to really rub and massage your hands. Focus more on the elbows, between your fingers, and around your nails. Following scrubbing and masking, a moisturizer really sinks in deep and hydrates your hands and arms. For moisturization, you can use hand cream, almond oil, olive oil or ghee.
Step 10: Finish off by painting your nails
If you applied a thick layer of moisturizer, we suggest you wait for a while before applying nail paint. Let the moisturizer get soaked. Once that’s done, gently clean your nail with a Q-tip to remove any residue. The most important thing here is that there is no moisturizer or emollient left on the nails.
Start painting your nails in layers. Apply a base layer first and then apply another layer after the first one dries off. Finish it all off with a top transparent coat to add gloss and make your nail paint last longer. If you are feeling fancy, here is a video on 100 Easy Nail Art Ideas to try at home.
Or if you want to do a classic French manicure, here’s another easy tutorial to watch:
And voila! Your self-manicure is done and dusted. Having a manicure session once in a month is enough. Although, taking care of your nails and hands every day is essential as well! When you are doing DIY’s for your face, like applying fruits or honey or milk, rub your hands with it and leave it there for 5 minutes. Also, massage your hands with a moisturizer or hydrating oil before going to bed.
When all of this gets done and dusted, you would be craving a good relaxing manicure at the salon. But knowing this skill yourself can save you a lot of time and money. Maybe you will need a professional just once in every 3-4 months and not every month! That’s gotta be some kind of achievement.
Do this manicure at home and let us know your feedback! We would love to update it so that other women in quarantine trying this will be able to benefit from our blog in the maximum way possible.