I love spoiling myself with a trip to the salon for a fresh manicure. The massage chair, the endless nail polish colours, the pampering - what's not to love!
But sometimes I don't have time or would just prefer to paint my pretties while watching the latest episode of GIRLS.
In this post I am going to share with you some of the ways I like to treat myself to a 'do it yourself' manicure which you can do too in the comfort of your home and at your convenience.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
I like to trim and tidy up my nails after I have had a shower or after soaking my nails in warm water for a few minutes. This softens the nail and cuticle bed making them easier to tame.
Curved Nail Scissors
What tools you use to cut your nails with all comes down to personal preference. Some like to use nail clippers while others prefer to use scissors, I personally prefer curved scissors. I like that they give me more control and accuracy over the angle and shape I want to create.
Nothing creates a more polished look (pun intended) than tidy cuticle beds. Again this is best done once you have soaked your nails in warm water so you can easily push your cuticles back prior to trimming with cuticle pliers. Be careful and take your time when trimming your cuticles as you don't want to cut them back too far or cut your finger.
4 in 1 Buffing Block
The last step prior to reaching for my favourite polish is to shape, smooth, buff and shine my nails with a 4 in 1 buffing block. Each side of the block is designed with a different purpose and is clearly numbered 1 to 4, so you just follow the steps in numerical order for each nail and tah-dah - you have beautiful, shiny, natural nails!
STRENGTHEN + REPAIR
My natural nails are generally pretty strong but after I decided to stop wearing acrylics they were paper thin and kept splitting. So I bought the award winning Revitanail Nail Strengthener and followed their suggested application process and they were back to their strong, healthy selves in no time!
As the weather gets cooler the skin around my nails and cuticles tends to get a little dry. So I like to care and repair my cuticles with Avoplex To Go by OPI. The built-in brush applicator makes it easy to apply the Vitamin E enriched cuticle oil to each nail so you can then gently massage it into your cuticle bed with your fingers.
Fresh Mani... Easy as 1, 2, 3
Creating a professional, salon finish at home is now easy thanks to the OPI Infinite Shine collection. Simply apply the base coat primer, the Infinite Shine colour of your choice and end with the gloss finish for a fresh and fabulous mani which will last up to 5 days, chip free (at least that is how long mine lasted!)
If you are a follower of my Instagram account you will know I LOVE Smith & Cult Nail Polishes. Their 5-free formula is long lasting and with names such as 'Psycho Candy' and 'Birdie Num Num' what's not to love. The signature circular bottle with hammered metal lid has secured their place in the pages of Vogue, at NYFW and on the nails of celebs around the world - and for good reason. Their colour range is SO on point! From bright reds and oranges to muted pinks, khaki and greys, there is a shade for every style and season.
WRAP IT UP
If you are looking for a unique, one of a kind nail design then you have to try Jamberry Nail Wraps. Not only are they easy to apply but with over 300 nail wraps in a variety of designs you can mix and match them to suit your style.
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!
With so many nail colours available it is hard to know what shades are going to look like especially when you are purchasing them online. But thanks to the new Sally Hansen ManiMatch App (available to download on IOS and Android) you can find the perfect shade to match your skin tone from their wide range of polishes!
The team at Sally Hansen give us the inside into their Try-On app...
"Users can generate personalised-for-your-skin-tone colour suggestions on demand; using cutting-edge, proprietary technology, the app senses and analyzes the pigments in each user’s hand, then matches its polish-shade suggestions to the ones optimally flattering to their skin tone."
The geek chic in me was curious so of course I downloaded the app straight away to try it for myself. It is definitely best to scan your hand on a plain surface, preferably white, in a well lit area so the scanner can get a true reading of your skin tone. Then once it has captured, the suggested nail colours are displayed and you can browse through each one as it shows what it looks like on your nails.
I really enjoyed using the app and it recommended shades I wouldn't have normally considered.
*Some of these products were sent to me in exchange for a review. Products have been tried, tested and all opinions expressed are honest and my own.