I use the Paula’s Choice 10 Steps to a Salon-Quality Manicure at Home for my nails. And what a big difference it has made!
So I wanted to share the step-by-step guide and add vegan or cruelty-free products to help you on your healthy nail journey.
Step 1: Remove old nail polish. SPARITUAL Fluent Lacquer Remover ($14.00)
Step 2: Shape the Nail. Use a crystal nail file opposed to the traditional emery board. Crystal nail files are gentler–perfect for nails that are more prone to chipping and cracking. Priti NYC 905 Crystal Glass Nail File ($11.00). But if you do choose to use an emery board file, find a grit of 180 or more to keep the nail plate from sliding and cracking.
Step 3: Soak Nail. Place your hands in a bowl of warm (not too hot) water and add a bit of your gentle face cleanser to the water or use a lemon (great way to bleach stained nails). Do not use detergent or other cleansers because they will dry out your hands more. Soak for three minutes or less.
Step 4: Apply callous/cuticle remover. Cuticles and callous are just thickened skin around the nail. To remove them safely, make sure to apply remover. Try ORLY’s Cutique Cuticle Remover ($11.00).
Step 5: Remove excess cuticle and callouses around the nail. THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT! Gently, push back the cuticle. Do not remove the cuticle; just remove the excess cuticle skin with a cuticle nipper. Do NOT clip into the cuticle; merely nip off the free edge with a pair of metal cuticle nippers. The cuticle protects the nail from future damage and bacteria so completely the cuticle is not the best idea.
Step 6: Moisturize. Use a cream or oil to rub into the cuticle and all over the hands. Like Badger Cuticle Care Tin ($5.99).
Step 7: Prep for polish. Use a cotton swab or pad, apply nail polish remover to remove left over moisturizer from the nail bed itself; not the cuticle.
Step 8: Paint nails in layers. Apply a base coat. Next, apply your color. Usually two to three coat, with drying between, gives you great coverage. Next apply your top coat to add shine! Try’s Ginger+Liz Base and Top Coats ($12.00 each) to achieve this.
When drying your nails, use a fan. Heating can cause chipping, but do not get to close to the fan since this will cause bubbles.
Step 9: Reapply moisturizer and during the day; sunscreen. Supergoop! Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn and SPF 40 ($12.00) is a great product to keep dark spots and wrinkles away.