There’s nothing like a fresh mani-pedi to provide feelings of refinement and rejuvenation. However, week after week of attention can lead to a lack of green in wallets with an excess of cobwebs in its place. So, why not bring the salon home and give yourself endless mani-pedis for a fraction of the cost? These tools and tips will have friends asking you, “Where did you get your nails done?” immediately.
Rough around the edges
Start with clean nails by removing all nail polish. Even if you don’t have any on, give your nail beds a quick swipe to remove any hidden polish or dirt. Then, exfoliate hands and feet with your favorite scrub or better yet, cane sugar. Most store-bought scrubs are sugar or salt scrubs. Make your own with a cup of sugar, some water, fresh lime and orange juice. This will smooth out hands, leaving them softer than ever.
Make them Melt
Cuticle oils and removers are essential for salon-look nails, but Formula10’s Pink Creamy Cuticle Remover is the most effective. The accordion shaped bottle makes application easy. Squeeze the bottle and run the long nozzle along nail beds. Allow to sit for one minute.
Once your cuticles have absorbed some remover, use the flat end of a cuticle removing tool to push cuticles back. This will cause dead cuticles and skin to fold and the tweezer-prong shaped side of the tool can be used to pick away the melted cuticles. This will result in clean, moisturized and most importantly, healthy looking nail beds that are ready to be moisturized.
After all of that preparation, what seems to be simple would be applying lotion. It really is as easy as that, but the wrong lotion could have consequences for skin. Overly fragrant products are often only so, while body butters or creams can leave skin oily and greasy instead of saturated. Any of Aveeno’s lotions can conquer this issue, but the Aveeno Skin Relief 24hr Moisturizing Lotion targets dry skin and moisturizes it back to health.
Nail Beds of Steel
Salon quality nails must be durable and resistant to cracks or breaks. That’s why Sally Hansen’s VitaSurge Growth Gel is the best start to growing strong nails. Apply a small, spreadable amount of the gel onto each nail and then rub it in with fingers or applicator. The beads inside the formula infuse vitamins A, C and E into nails to promote growth. This is essential for nails that undergo lots of painting.
Growing and Growing
Before airbrushing tiny daisies, stenciling a French tip or simply applying a solid color, apply a base coat to nails. Essie’s Grow Stronger will strengthen nails while providing primer for the coats to come.
Final Don’t Touch
After all is said and done and each finger and toe is perfectly painted, the final piece to the puzzle is topcoat. Recently, matte coats have become a trend, but for on-the-go nails with high gloss, Nails Inc. London’s Kensington Caviar Top Coat does the trick. This top coat dries to the touch in 45 seconds, but fully dries in ten minutes and creates a slick, gel-effect—the perfect touch for salon-quality nails.
There’s some hard work behind a fresh mani-pedi, but with the right tools and enough practice, anyone can create salon quality nails.
Featured image courtesy of » Zitona « on Flickr Creative Commons