Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DIY Manicure

Hey guys! Long time no talk. I know it's Wednesday, but I hope you had a great weekend! We had so much fun with the fam. Although my little Brody boy is getting on my nerves... anyone know how to cure puppies from jumping all over you??? If so, please tell! He's driving me crazy...

Today, I thought I'd share with you my DIY manicure routine since I've probably only gone about a week without any nail polish on my fingers since I kicked my nail biting habit back in May (see more about it here). Good news is I haven't gone back to the dark side! It's kind of a big deal. For reference, it would be like Snooki kicking her tanning habit. Big deal, right?

I'm very happy with my nail routine. It took a lot of practice, but I think I have a pretty good formula for a really tough manicure with minimal chipping (chipping is the worst). My manicure usually lasts about two weeks which is as good, if not better, as when you get a regular manicure at the nail salon. Plus, it doesn't cost $14.

Here's my routine for the best DIY manicure.


What you'll need
1. Nail polish remover (if you already have some polish on there)
2. OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener
3. Nail polish - my favorite polish is Essie brand (this one is Bobbing for Baubles - a deep Navy)
4. OPI Chip Skip (this is the key step!)
5. OPI Top Coat
6. Nail clippers
7. Nail file

Side note - I don't use a base coat, but I hear that can be helpful, especially when using reds or blacks (since they tend to sometimes tint your actual nail). I haven't had a problem so far with my go-to coral color this summer, or the navy color I've been sporting lately.

Step 1
Remove all nail polish from your nails. Here's what my nails looked like before. This was after two weeks of my previous manicure. A little grow out, but no chipping! The tips do wear out because I am usually typing all day long, so there's bound to be a little wear. Not too bad if you ask me.

Step 2
Trim your nails. Or not, if you like the length.

Step 3
Use the file to get your nails to the shape you want. Square? Round? A little bit of both? I use the rougher edge of the file to shape and then the softer edge of the file to touch up and smooth. I also file the top of the nails down a little to get the ends really smooth before painting.

Step 4
Wash your hands. This is important to get all the nail polish remover and filing dust off your nails before you start painting.

Step 5
Apply nail strengthener. I really like this product because it makes my nails really hard and tough. One of my missions in life is to never get a hang nail or break a nail and this definitely helps!

Step 6
Apply two thin and even coats of nail polish. This is key. Don't over apply! Apply the first coat to all fingers. Then start on round two after letting them dry for a little bit. It's important to keep each coat thick enough to cover, but thin enough not to be lumpy. Some colors have different consistency but the navy I'm using has pretty good coverage.

Step 7
Apply Chip Skip. I only apply a very thin coat (by almost dabbing it on) to the ends of my nails since that's where they would chip.

Step 8
Apply top coat. I apply a generous coat to make sure it is solid and super shiny.

Step 9
Let them dry! This is important for obvious reasons I don't need to tell you.

Step 10
Clean them up if you are not a Picasso painter like the nail salon ladies. Besides cleaning up the big mess-ups as I go, what works really well for me is to clean them up in the shower. Either later that night or in the morning after they are completely dry, I just use the water from the shower to pick away at the polish that happened to land on my skin instead of my nails. It works really well. I didn't get an after picture, but I think I did a pretty good job of painting between the lines!


There you have it! That's my DIY manicure routine. Do you have a routine? Do you usually paint your nails or do you like to go au naturale? What's your favorite polish color for fall? I'm definitely digging navy, and I can't wait to try out a deep burgundy or oxblood (I just picked up "head mistress" and "don't sweater it" from Essie's Fall Collection yesterday!). 

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