Nailed It! DIY Manicures to the Rescue

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Life’s too short for chapped hands and chipped nail paint. APARNA AYYAR tells you how to give yourself DIY manicures that will keep your nails looking pretty.

 
Regular manicures, apart from being an immensely therapeutic experience, are also essential to keep our hands groomed and tips looking pretty. And it’s not always in nail salons that you’ll achieve this—a DIY manicure will keep your nails looking gorgeous at all times. So the next time you’re binge watching a Netflix series with nothing else to do, we suggest you pull out your manicure kit and treat yourself to a great home manicure session.
 
1: Clean canvas
Start by removing any traces of residual nail paint. Try using non-acetone based nail paint removers as they are less harsh than acetone-based ones.
 
2: Soak and scrub
Soak your hands for five minutes. Now’s the time to scrub and exfoliate. You can use body scrub or hand scrubs meant for manicures. However, a tablespoon of sugar mixed with baby oil will work just as well. Gently scrub away the dry and chapped skin. Rinse and pat dry.
 
3: Don’t ignore the cuticles
Soften your cuticles by applying a bit of oil and gently massaging them. push the cuticles behind with an orangewood stick to get a really nice shape. Don’t forget to clean any dirt and build-up found under your nails.
 
4: Getting in shape
Like a neat and tidy look? Then cut your nails short and buff away any rough edges. Ladies who love flaunting long nails can do so in a variety of shapes—square, rounded, almond-shaped, coffin-shaped, to name a few. Pick one and file away!
 
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5: Time to pamper
An extension of sheet masks, the Korean favourites, are now available for the hands too. Choose a nourishing and hydrating one and slip these glove-like masks on your hands. Catch up on your favourite sitcom as the mask works its charm to give you baby-soft hands!
 
6: Base coat
Many women don’t realise the importance of a base coat. It ensures that the nail bed is devoid of any unappealing ridges and uneven patches. It also helps the nail polish stay on for longer without chipping. So always apply a base coat—even a thin coat will do the trick.
 
7: Time to play
This is the most fun part! Choose your favourite hue of nail polish and aply two thin layers. Do allow the colour to dry completely between each coat. For best results, swipe the polish down the centre of the nail first, then on each side, keeping each layer of polish as thin as possible. If you’re creative, try a fun nail art pattern. Ombre nails, rhinestone embellishments and floral nail art styles are always in vogue. You can also create interesting patterns by using nail tattoo stickers that are readily available in tons of attractive designs.
 
8: Top coat
It’s now time to seal your perfect artwork in place. Apply a top coat to smooth out the application of polish and add shine. Zen out and resist the urge to touch anything while letting the coat dry. Word of caution—while it’s very tempting to reach for quick-dry polishes, you must remember that they dry your nails terribly, making them brittle in the long run. So use them sparingly, even if it means sitting motionless for an extra five minutes.
 

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