SO that said. Here are a few of my tips for doing your own mani/pedis. I often get asked “how does your manicure last so long?” I do think it’s all in the prep. Of course, it is not going to have the staying power of a shellac/gel manicure but that’s ok for me. I find those types of manicures very damaging for my thin nails, taking months for them to recover.
Make sure your palette is clean, smooth and prepared. Using your regular nail clippers, files, and buffing pads all help to get the nail ready. You all know this drill. What I like to do to prior to a mani, is the night before I soak my nails in olive oil or use my homemade cuticle/nail balm. This really moisturizes my nails and cuticles and then it allows the polish to go on better. You can use coconut oil on your cuticles/nails too which really helps to soften them. A great nail oil is Solar oil.
Base coat— The best base coat I have found is China Glaze- Strong Adhesion Base coat. One coat of this gives your nails a slight “tooth” so that the polish can adhere better and really helps your manicure to last.
Good quality polish. Yes there are differences in polishes. Brands like OPI, Essie, China Glaze are great quality. But there are some drugstore brands like Loreal that make a nice polish. Always use two coats and make sure to get those edges so that you don’t get chips.
Top coat: The absolute best top coat I have found is “Seche Vite”. This gives you the look of a gel manicure and will make your manicure last. This polish tends to shrink when dry, so get as close to the edges of your nails as you can. This top coat also is great if you do nail art and will smooth out any waviness in the polish from your art design, stickers etc.
Step 5: Wear gloves for washing dishes. The best thing you can do to keep your manicure lasting longer is avoid soaking hands in water and keep oils away from the edges. Oil causes polish to lift.
Some of you may already use this or have had it used on you at a salon but this is really the best way to get rid of the dreaded “Hoof” heel. I have used all the cool hand held motorized callous buffing tools. And the sandpaper hand held callous file/removers. But by far the microplane cheese grater works the best. You can purchase these anywhere there are kitchen tools. It will last forever (the other foot devices all require replacement heads etc.) Be careful, these can be sharp. I find that using it on dry skin works the best. Use it to get off the hard callous and then use your sandpaper foot file to smooth it out to a fine finish. YOU will be shocked at how much stuff comes off. Be sure not to go too deep or you will have sensitive feet for a while. Moisturize when done and you will have the prettiest Pilates feet in class.
Maintenance: Want to keep things looking nice longer? Pop on another layer of top coat 2 days after your manicure. Also make sure to keep cuticles moisturized and skin soft. Keep the oils to the perimeter of the nails to avoid oil seeping under polish.
Enjoy these tips and let me know how they work for you.