Go on, treat yourself to a relaxing, no stress, no mess manicure at home! Gather your supplies, pour yourself a tall glass of cucumber-spiked water and follow these simple steps to keep nails pretty between salon visits.
Step 1. Cleanse and Shape
Remove old nail polish with non-acetone remover and cut, file and shape nails.
Tip: Go for a “squoval” shape somewhere between square and oval and resist the urge to saw your nails down with your emery board.
Step 2. Soak and Soften
Soften hands with a warm milk soak to gently lift dead skin cells. Follow with a simple salt scrub and finish by rubbing coconut oil into cuticles and hands for deep hydration.
Warm milk and rose petal soak: Pour 2 cups of water and 2 cups of whole milk into a glass bowl large enough for both hands and warm in microwave. Sprinkle with rose petals (just because!) and soak for soak for 5 minutes.
Sea salt scrub: Mix a handful of fine sea salt with about at tablespoon of oil (avocado, grape seed or olive oil will do) and onto massage hands, wrists and fingers.
Tip: For extremely dry cuticles and brittle nails, break open a vitamin E capsule and massage onto nails. Leave on for as long as you can stand the smell!
Step 3. Primp and Polish
Use a clean wooden cuticle stick to gently push back cuticles, swipe nail beds with polish remover and polish to perfection (or buff gently for a natural finish).
Tip: Use a hydrating base coat to keep nails healthy underneath polish and extend the life of your mani by swiping nails daily with a top coat.
Shades of Summer
While coral and pink polishes are a sure sign of sunny skies ahead, summer 2011 is also heating up with vibrant hues, big screen inspirations and anything but boring color combos. Kick up your home spa mani with these edgy shades.
Electric matte: Zoya is ringing in summer 1980s style with neon colors that dry to a matte, gunmetal type finish. Hot hues include Phoebe (azure blue), Mitzi (lime green) and Lolly (bold magenta). $8 at Ulta stores and zoya.com.
Murky waters: From the taupe-hued Skull & Glossbones to the seaweed-inspired Mermaid’s Tears, OPI is riding the Pirates of the Caribbean wave with a shadowy new ocean collection. $8.50 at Ulta stores and select salons. Check out the colors at opi.com.
Cracked up: OPI’s Black Shatter was the darling of fall and now it comes in a variety of colors including silver, red, navy and white. Sally Hansen has also gotten in the nail art act with their own version called Crackle, available in eight shades including Fractured Foil and Fuchsia Shock. $6.99 at Ulta stores and ulta.com.