How To Do A Salon Perfect Manicure At Home

How To Do A Salon Perfect Manicure At Home

Expert Advice on doing a salon perfect manicure at home.

"Whether it's shaping, caring for or polishing your nails, it is possible to give yourself a beautiful manicure from the comfort of your own home. We asked nail expert Jessica Hoffman for her tips on getting elegant, salon-quality results.

Jessica is a professional manicurist with over 13 years experience in both the UK and US who has worked on Vogue, Marie Claire, Tatler, and Harper's Bazaar, as well as tending the hands and feet of celebrities including Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, and Gwyneth Paltrow."

Step 1: Clean Nails

Firstly remove all traces of nail colour and treatments with nail polish remover, to ensure the nail (plate) is free from any dirt or grease.

Step 2: Shape Nails

If your nails are very long, trim them to even lengths with scissors or a nail clipper.

Then file the edges smooth with a nail file or emery board. Finish by filing underneath the nail to neaten the edge.
Once a month, buff the surface of your nails with a nail buffer. This will remove surface ridges and promote healthy nail growth.

For salon-style nails, try the 'squoval' shape, which is a combination of square and oval, where the nail edges are straight but have slightly rounded corners.

Step 3: Groom Cuticles

If cuticles are particularly damaged, exfoliate before soaking.
Soak your fingers for 5 minutes in warm water to soften the cuticles, then pat them dry, to leave the cuticles moist.
Wrap some cotton wool around a cuticle stick or use a cuticle pusher and gently push back your cuticles.

Carefully nip away any hangnails. Don't cut the cuticles, as they will grow back thicker.

Apply a cuticle cream or oil and massage in gently. This will soften the cuticles and promote healthy nail growth

Step 4: 4. Prep Nails

If you have used a cuticle cream or oil, remove from the nail (plate) with nail polish remover.

Now your nails are ready to apply a base coat. If you have problem nails, you should use a nail treatment as a base coat.

For short nails that won't grow, use Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle.

For weak nails that break, use Sally Hansen Diamond Strength.

For problem nails with severe peeling, use Sally Hansen Miracle Cure.

For normal nails use a base coat for protection and strength.

Step 5: Apply Nail Polish

Now apply your favourite shade of Sally Hansen nail colour.

Diamond Strength Nail Colour gives longlasting colour that won't chip or fade and helps prevent nails from breaking.

But today we are using Hard As Nails Extreme Wear which gives fabulous colour in one coat plus helps strengthen nails and prevent splitting and cracking.

Apply 1 or 2 coats of polish, depending on the type of polish or the depth of colour desired. Apply the polish lightly and quickly using sweeping strokes. Start from the base to the free edge and over the nail tip.

The polish should be thin enough to flow freely. Apply the coat of polish thinly, which is the secret to prevent chipping!

Make sure that you allow nail polish to be touch dry in between coats.

To correct any mistakes, use a cotton bud or orange stick wrapped in cotton wool, and soak it in nail polish remover

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Finish with a top coat to seal nails, add brilliant shine and help nail colour last. When applied between manicures, top coats add strength and protection and help keep your nail colour looking shiny and just-applied fresh.

After your manicure ensure nails are thoroughly dry. Apply Speed Dry Drops which speed up drying, protect colour as it dries and conditions nails and cuticles.

Once topcoat is dry, hydrate cuticles with oil.