With everything shut down, there’s no better time than now to learn how to do your own nails. The coronavirus pandemic has meant the temporary closure of all businesses that are deemed to be non-essential, including our beloved nail salons and spas. But social distancing doesn’t have to mean giving up on your nails. Doing your own nails is easier than you might think, and a good skill to keep in your back pocket.
Whether you’re looking for something to do during all your quarantine-driven free time or just can’t stand looking at that same chipped polish anymore, keep reading to learn what you need to know for a stellar at-home mani, plus some of our favorite nail painting ideas for when you feel like getting extra creative.
At-Home Gel Nail Polish Tips
Doing your own nails is a whole lot easier with thes nail polish tips and steps.
1. Think Like a Pro
If you’re used to getting your nails done at the salon, then you’ve likely paid at least some attention to the process. Put that knowledge to work when you do your own nails. Start by removing your polish, then trim, file, soak, buff, and deal with those pesky cuticles. Many times, aside from taking off old polish we don’t do enough to get our nails primed for painting. That can lead to broken nails and manicures that don’t last very long. So when you’re doing your own nails, think what would a pro do? and go from there.
2. Use What You Have
Don’t have a buffer at home? Out of base coat? Since you can’t just run out to the store right now, you’ll need to get creative with your tools. A nail file can double as a buffer so long as you apply only gentle pressure. And your top coat can double as a base coat if need be. The key is to work with what you have instead of just skipping steps.
3. Always Apply Two Coats of Polish
Your polish might look great after just one coat application, but make sure to do at least two. It can be difficult to get the full look of a color when it’s still wet, and doing just one coat means that you could end up with streaks, uneven color distribution, or a lack of full coverage.
4. Leave Your Nails Plenty of Time to Dry
Think your nails are dry? Give them at least ten more minutes. Many great at-home manicures have been ruined by nails that appear to be dry but aren’t fully there, so it pays to put in some patience and wait until you can be extra sure. If you hate the waiting period, get a quick-dry top coat to cut down on the process.
Creative Nail Painting Technique
If you want to go above and beyond with your nails, you could try some fun nail painting techniques. These include:
Colorblocking: Choose two (or more!) colors you like and use tape to segment off sections of each nail. Paint one section and wait for it to dry, then paint the other section with a different color.
Nail art: Use household items like toothpicks and bobby pins to create interesting nail art. And if you’re really artistic, try to paint something specific on your nails, like flowers or a beach scene.
French manicure: Try your hand at a French manicure by painting a neutral base coat and then applying the color of your choice (or a traditional white) to just the tip of your nail.
We miss the nail salon as much as you do, but in the meantime, we’ve got everything you need for a great DIY manicure, including nail polish, accessories, tools, and more from your favorite brands. Happy shopping, and best of luck with your at-home mani!