15 tips for the perfect manicure

Nail Prep

1) Use a glass nail file
Glass nail files seal the edge of the nail rather than tearing so it prevents the nail from splitting. They also last a long time (years) and can be washed and sanitized (unlike emery boards).

2) Filing technique
Don’t file back and forwards on the nail; this will cause nails to split and tear. Instead, file in one direction only.

3) Remove cuticles
Either soak fingers in warm water for 5-10 minutes then gently push back with a hoof or orange stick, or use a cuticle remover. Never cut your cuticles! This will result in bleeding and will encourage infection.

4) Buffing nails
If you have weak nails, avoid buffing the nail regularly (or even at all!). For stronger nails, use a nail buffer to remove ridges from the surface of the nail twice a month.

5) Before painting
Run nail polish remover on a cotton round across each nail to remove any residual oils – this will allow the nail polish to adhere to the nail and your manicure to last longer!

Painting nails

6) Always use a base coat
A base coat will protect the natural nail from staining and will give the polish something to stick to. Using a base coat extends the wear of your manicure.

7) Apply nail polish
Use two to three thin coats of polish, letting it dry between each coat. Thin coats will make the manicure even and prevent bubbling. Make sure you leave a gap between the polish and the cuticle.

8) Wrap the tips
This is one of the key steps that will help your manicure last! When you paint your nails, make sure you run your brush along the edge the nail to seal the tips. This really helps to prevent chipping.

9) Clean up
If you have gotten nail polish on the cuticle or on the skin around the nail, take a small angled brush dipped in acetone and clean up any mistakes or wonky edges.

10) Always apply a top coat
This is another key step in making your manicure last as long as possible. Apply a generous layer of quick-dry top coat, and don’t forget to wrap the tips too!

Aftercare

11) Apply cuticle oil
Once the nail polish is dry, liberally apply oil to the cuticle and massage it into the skin.

12) Moisturise
Regularly moisturise with a light moisturiser in the morning and during the day, and a richer moisturiser overnight. To really get a moisture boost, apply a thick cream before bed and wear cotton manicure gloves overnight. You’ll wake up to super smooth hands!

13) Top up with top coat
If your manicure is starting to look a bit worn but doesn’t have any major chipping, you can top up with the quick-dry top coat and your manicure should last another few days!

Removal

14) For normal nail polish
Use a strengthening or moisturising nail polish remover on cotton rounds. Don’t press down too hard on your nail, be patient and it will all come off with gentle strokes.

15) For glitter nail polish
Glitter nail polish is harder to remove, so use pure acetone or a nail polish remover with a higher concentration of acetone on cotton rounds. This will be more drying on the nail and the cuticle, but will remove the glitter polish. Again you don’t want to press too hard or the nail will get scratched, so leave the cotton round on your nail for a few seconds before wiping.