We’ll never take a trip to the nail salon for granted again. Nail salons all across the country have closed down, which has left a lot of our perfectly manicured hands pretty helpless. The question everyone seems to be asking themselves is, “how will I be able to keep up with my self-care needs without my nail tech to guide the way?” Well babes, we are here to help you achieve that salon-quality-manicure at HOME! We know that #QuarantineNails have become a real thing over the past few weeks, and we want to help you get your dream mani in the comfort of your own home. With nail artists all over the web posting their tips & tricks, we have an endless amount of inspiration at our fingertips. Keep reading along for a little “nail house-keeping” & nail art inspiration to get your manicure back in tip-top shape!
In order to properly pamper your nails, there are certain tools that you’ll want to have on hand. You will need a nail file (to shape the nails), a buffer (to smooth the nail bed), cuticle oil (to soften cuticles so you can push them back), as well as your base coat, the polish color you want your nails to be, and a topcoat.
STEP 1: You need to shape your nails. Mold your nails into your desired shape: oval, square, or anything in between. If you are not sure which specific shape you are going for, you can find a nail shape guide here! With our current situation at hand, it may be easier to keep up with shorter nails to avoid the spread of more bacteria. You would be shocked to hear how much bacteria can live under your nails (which is the last thing we want right now)!
STEP 2: You need to buff your nails. A lot of people tend to skip this step when they are in a pinch, but it truly makes a difference when it comes to how your nails will turn out. Using a buffer will smooth your nail bed and prep your nails for a flawless polish application.
STEP 3: Care for your cuticles. Your cuticles are another important part of keeping up with a salon-worthy manicure. Since cutting them can be tricky and hazardous without a pro doing it, slightly push them back and apply a cuticle oil to keep them extra moisturized. When cuticles are dry, they make your fingers prone to hangnails, so it’s important to keep them hydrated!
STEP 4: Wash your hands. We know that this sounds counter intuitive after applying cuticle oil, but it’s important to make sure the nail bed itself is free of oil. It is said that leftover oil on the nail bed is the biggest cause of chipping. You don’t need anything fancy for this step – just use regular soap and water!
STEP 5: Apply a base coat. After all of that prep, it is finally time to start painting! A base coat is important because it not only assures a smoother application, but it also prevents the colored polish from staining your natural nails.
STEP 6: Apply you polish. This is definitely the most fun part, but it can also be a little nerve racking. You must always apply at least 2 coats of color (making sure to let each layer dry before another application). For a seamless look, try to use the least amount of strokes as possible. Another good tip is to paint the tip of your nail to seal in the color and prevent chipping.
STEP 7: Apply a top coat. Finally, you’ll want to apply a clear topcoat polish. This will help seal your color, make it shine, and prevent it from chipping. It’s also a good idea to repeat this step every 2-3 days to make you manicure last for the maximum amount of time!
Now that we’ve got you prepped with the steps, we rounded up some of our favorite quarantine nails to spark a little nail art inspiration. And though some of these looks were achieved by professionals nail techs, we do encourage you to challenge yourself to imitate some of these fun colors and designs. You can start simple and work your way up! We all seem to have a lot more time on our hands now, so it can be a fun activity to master over the next few weeks. And who knows, by the end of it all, you may become your very own profession nail tech!