A few tips to maintain a good manicure/pedicure routine and cut costs while at it.
You either have polish or you don’t. The in between look with chipped polish here and there is a no no and especially for conspicuous colours. Always have polish remover at home and wipe off polish as soon as it starts to chip. If you do not have time to polish your nails afresh, leave them be. Natural is nowhere near as sloppy as walking around with chipped nail polish.
Polish takes way longer to dry than it seems to. That’s why you sometimes sleep with polish that is dry to the touch but wake up with a smudged mess with sheet marks on it. Do your polish when you know there is enough time for it to completely dry and harden. In particular, avoid heat as it can interfere with the drying process. Even just washing hands with hot water can mess a seemingly dry fresh manicure. Pay attention to this especially in hot humid areas, or hot humid days. Dunk your fingers in ice cold water after polishing to speed up the hardening process.
Invest in a good nail and cuticle oil. It is tempting to think that a regular lotion will work just as well, and it will to some extent, but nail and cuticle oils are formulated with extra vitamins and oils designed to penetrate deep inside the cuticle. And besides, alcohol and perfumes found in regular lotions will actually dry out the cuticle and eventually shorten the life of your manicure/pedicure.
Bring your own polish. Some salons are known to add thinners to polish that has hardened so as to reap maximum financial benefit out of it. Thinned polish is obviously not as good as the original as thinning is basically breaking down the chemical structure of the polish. They will also usually use nail polish remover as thinner and we know that most removers have acetone. You will therefore be applying way too much acetone on your nails and that’s not a good thing. Your polish will chip sooner and polish that has had its original constitution altered may produce the dreaded bubble effect on nails when applied.
Home nail job? Apply petroleum jelly on the skin around nails before polishing to prevent errant polish from adhering, thus making it easier to wipe it off when you’re done with the manicure. This will particularly come in handy when polishing the unfortunate stronger hand – the right hand if you’re right handed and vice versa.
Prep nails for polish by wiping them lightly with polish remover or a weak vinegar solution to get rid of any surface oils. Do not skip the basecoat step either as this helps the polish adhere better and also prevent staining of nails. Speaking of stained nails, other than soaking them in lemon, vinegar and baking soda, you can also smudge some whitening toothpaste on them and scrub gently.
Save on regular manicures and pedicures by increasing their lifetime and reducing the frequency of salon visits by having a daily homecare routine. Scrub your feet every day with a pumice stone and massage especially the heels and cuticles with rich oils and creams. Wear socks soon after and sleep in them if you can stand that. As for hands, clean them and lather on some good quality hand and cuticle creams and sleep in gloves once in a while.
Shake well before use does not apply to nail polish. Shaking polish vigorously can result in air bubbles and this will show on the nail surface when the polish is applied. Instead of shaking, roll the polish between your palms.
Lastly, your nails are not tools. And besides, a staple remover will do a better job at nails will. They’re not toothpicks either!