Pretty nails provide a polished, put-together finish to your look. Weekly mani pedi appointments are a dream way to keep them looking perfect, but not without the hefty price tag that comes along for the ride. Keeping your nails looking up to par can be easy and affordable by doing them at home instead of a pricey salon.
We’ve put together this list of tried and tested mani-pedi tips to show you that doing them yourself is a LOT easier than you might think. Try them out and your manicure will never be the same!
- Nail polish (especially dark polishes) can start to make your natural nails look yellowish after a while. To whiten your nails, dab some whitening toothpaste on a soft scrub brush. Wet the brush and gently scrub your nails for a few minutes.
- You can also soak your nails in lemon juice for five or ten minutes beforehand for an extra strength whitening treatment. If you have a fresh lemon available and want a deeper ‘clean’, you can cut the lemon in half and then use then use it to literally scrub your nails.
- Another solution is to apply a base coat or a layer of clear polish before you apply your color. This will help prevent the dark polish from staining your nail, helping you to avoid any yellowing altogether. Many people just skip this step, but it’s essential if you have a thing for darker shades and still want your nails to look healthy.
- Cuticles. Take care of them! Do not cut them or trim them. The very best thing for you to do is to regularly gently push them back. The best time to do this is after you shower or bathe. Your cuticles will be softer and more flexible and easier to push back. Use light, gentle pressure and carefully push them back. It’s MUCH better to just push them back a little bit each time, and to do it regularly than it is to try and push them back a lot all at once. Caring for your cuticle the right way will keep the skin around your nails healthy and beautiful.
- Whether or not you like polish nails or natural nails, buffing your nails is a good idea. Don’t go crazy here though. Soft, gentle buffing will give you smooth, even surfaces to work with if you use polish. If you like the natural look, buffing gives the nail bed a smooth, healthy looking shine that will have people wondering if you’re wearing clear polish.
Application Tips, Tricks & Hacks
- Set your nail polish in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes before you start. You’ll get much better coverage and it will go on much more smoothly. Who would have thought, right? But, it totally works.
- Are you into those neon and fluorescent brights? Here’s a tip to give you more color bang for your buck. Apply a layer of solid white polish and let it dry before you apply your color. It will make your bright color pop, and really stand out.
- If you’re in a hurry, you can speed up the drying process by dipping your freshly painted nails into cold water. Be careful not to bump on the way into the water. The colder the water, the more quickly they’ll dry.
Make it Last
- Are any of you tired of your polish starting to chip after just a couple of days? I know I am. And who would have thought there was a fix for this problem? Make your polish last longer by soaking your nails in distilled white vinegar for a minute or two – right before applying your polish. Be sure to remove any old polish and to shape your nails before this step. You want this to be the very last thing you do before applying your base coat and color. This helps to remove any traces of moisturizer, oil, dirt or dust, and allows the polish to bind more securely to the nail. This ensures a longer lasting application. This step will even help your color to go on more smoothly.
- If you don’t have white vinegar, do a final sweep of nail polish remover over each nail right before you apply the color.
- Use a quality top coat over your final coat of color polish. This will also ensure your color is chip-free and looks fresh for as long as possible.
- Even better, reapply the same top coat every couple of days. It will help. A lot. If you want to be extra sure of making your polish last, apply the top coat daily.
In a Pinch Fixes
- Ready to do your nails, but then realize you’re out of nail polish remover? In a pinch, you can paint clear nail polish over the old polish and then quickly wipe it off (do one nail at a time so it doesn’t dry). When you wipe the new polish off, it’ll take the old stuff along with it.
- Due for a new coat, but don’t have time to repaint? If you’re in a bind, you can disguise chips and cracks by going all out and applying crackle or glitter polish on top. The messy look is fun and edgy when it looks like you did it on purpose. 🙂
Rescuing Old Polish
- Dying to use your fav color of all time, only to find that it has thickened and dried out? I hate when that happens. Polish that has thickened is super difficult to apply. To fix this problem, simply pour some newer, clear polish into the old bottle and mix well. Voila! Your go-to shade is like new again.
- Can anyone relate… you pull out your fav color and have your heart set on using it this time. You go to open the bottle and nope. It is literally super glued shut. I can never open them. To solve this all too common problem, you can try running the bottle under hot water for about 30 seconds. This will help loosen up the grip.
- If that’s not enough, you can gently tap the lid on a hard surface. After the hot water, this will almost always be enough to loosen the seal.
- Better yet, prevent this issue from happening in the first place. After using the polish, put a tiny bit of petroleum jelly vaseline around the neck of the bottle. This will eliminate the chance of it getting so stuck the next time.
Choosing the Perfect Color
Oh how we love color! To be honest, it’s hard for me to commit to just one each time I do my nails. When you’re doing yours with a special occasion in mind, here’s a little guide to help you pick the one that will be best suited for your event:
- Interviews: Upcoming job interview? You’ll want to look professional, capable and put together. Skip the ‘screaming for attention’ accessories and nail colors. Go for clean and simple shades like clear, pale pinks or nude shades. You can even go for a natural looking french manicure. Just please skip the ultra bright white tips. Please. 🙂 Go for a soft white, natural white or off white tip.
- Formal Events: This is your chance to up your game and go for all out elegance and sophistication. You’ll want to consider the color of your dress, of course. For most looks, classy reds, deep wines and dark berry shades will up your game for sure. Think glamorous and chic. And then choose makeup colors that complement, not compete.
- Nights Out On the Town: These are the fun nights where you can throw caution to the wind and be adventurous and unique. Try blues, greens or even yellows and grays. Funky finishes are fun to try as well. This is a great time to try out anything trendy and exciting.
- Vacations: Yes, this is my favorite of them all. Go for fun, girly and gorgeous. We love hot pinks, corals, oranges, glitter and just about anything fun and fruity.
Tell us your favorite mani pedi tips in the comments!