So here we are. March 2020 and we’re all stuck at home…quarantined. Who would have thought that when we all yelled “Happy New Year!” to 2020 that within a matter of weeks we’d be put in an unimaginable reality where we’re forced to stay home to save lives and flatten the curve due to COVID-19. With everyone being forced to stay home and a lot of what’s deemed “unnecessary businesses” closed, a lot of us are forced to go without our hair appointments, eyelash/eyebrow appointments, and most importantly our nail appointments. Fortunately for me I do my own nails. I’m here to help offer you some tips on maintaining your nails at home during this quarantine and not have your nail lady shaking her head at you once we’re able to get back to some normalcy.
1. Removing your Gel Manicure
If you have a gel manicure I’m sure your nails are looking interesting at this point (lol). Well while being home, remove the gel safely so you’re not damaging your nails. To do so you’ll need cotton balls or pads, pieces of foil cut into squares, acetone (nail polish remover), a hard grit nail file, and a cuticle pusher. The process is fairly simple. Take your nail file and file the top of your gel polish until it’s not “shiny” anymore so to speak. Don’t file too hard. Just enough so the acetone can deteriorate the gel polish. Then take your cotton ball or pad. Saturate it in the acetone and tightly wrap it onto the nail with the foil. Let your nails soak for about 15-20 minutes. When the time is up, remove the foil gently from your finger in a wiggle then pull type motion. Use your cuticle pusher to remove any gel polish that didn’t fully come off from the soak. If needed, buff your nails until their smooth, apply a nail strengthener, cuticle oil, and viola! You’re all set.
2. Base Coats
For longer lasting manicures I prefer to use nail strengtheners as a base coat. I’m sure there’s a lot of good base coats out there, but this is just my preference. With me changing my nail color every week, I’d like to keep them nourished knowing I’m coating them with a little TLC before I polish them with color.
3. Clean Nails Before You Polish
This tip is something new that I stumbled upon and my goodness is it a good one! BEFORE you put on any type of base coat make sure your nails are CLEAN and DRY. To do this simply wipe your nail with some nail polish remover. Any type of moisture or oils on your nails before painting will surely lead to faster chipping. If you want a longer wear-at-home mani, wipe that nail with nail polish remover. One swipe and you’re good to go!
4. Out With the Old
If you’re about to paint your nails with old nail polish, don’t. Just throw it away and buy some new polish. Using old nail polish is just asking for your nails to chip the next day. Targets and drug stores are still open, so you can go grab a fresh bottle if needed.
5. Cap it Off
When you’re done with your mani cap it off with my hands down favorite top coat, Essie’s Gel Setter. Also, use a small angled brush (mine is an eyeliner brush from an old makeup set) with nail polish remover to clean up those edges. Cleaning the edges is crucial so don’t forget that step!
And there you have it. My top 5 tips for a good, long lasting at home manicure. These tips should be able to get you through this quarantine. Let me know how they work for you in the comments!