How to Keep Nails Fashionable Without Breaking the Bank

    Home Nail Care: How to Keep ‘Em Fashionable Without Breaking the Bank

    Guest Post: This article was written by James Lander of Couponing. Couponing is a site dedicated to helping consumers save money through coupon use.

    When it comes to snap judgments, most people base them on two things – your shoes and your hands. Perhaps this is because caring for these ‘extremities’ requires an attention to detail that is becoming uncommon as our lives get busier. No matter what the explanation for our fascination is, do yourself a favor – buy some new shoes and learn to give yourself a quality manicure at home.

    Your at-home method for salon perfect nails

    LA manicurist to the stars, Lisa Jachno, recommends at least thirty uninterrupted minutes per treatment. Lock your doors, turn off the phone and collect everything you need so you won’t have to use your hands for the next half an hour.

    Step One: Remove old polish from your nails using either a cloth or cotton pad.

    Cotton balls have a tendency to shred easily and absorb far too much lacquer remover. Speaking of which, there are plenty of things you can save money on when maintaining your nails at home but polish remover shouldn’t be one of them. Although drug store brands are acceptable, they generally smell awful and will dry out your skin and nails. Professional manicure companies such as Essie and OPI offer polish removers that not only smell lovely but are seriously effective. You may pay a bit more for the product, but in the end it is more economical than a dollar- store remover that takes half a bottle to get the job done.

    Step Two: File your nails while they are dry to prevent peeling.

    Don’t waste your money on expensive, gimmicky equipment. A good file shouldn’t cost you more than a few dollars. The key to a beautiful manicure lies in your techniques, not the amount you spend. Carla Kay, a west Hollywood manicurist, cautions that “sawing back and forth can break the nail” and suggests using smooth strokes in one direction only.

    Step Three: Incorporate olive oil, hand lotion or cuticle oil into a bowl of warm water and soak your hands for a minimum of ten minutes.

    After, dry thoroughly and apply a cuticle cream or hand lotion. Using an ‘orange stick’ wrapped in a bit of cotton, push your cuticles back gently. Once accomplished, take a moist washcloth and rub the pushed cuticles in a circular motion. Avoid using any blades or scissors to trim them as cutting your cuticles can make you more vulnerable
    to infection and retard the nail’s growth.

    Step Four: After washing and drying, apply your base coat and allow it to dry thoroughly.

    This step ensures that the polish adheres properly while protecting your nails from becoming stained by the pigments in your chosen polish. Take a deep breath – it’s time to begin polishing your perfectly shaped nails. Because you’ve saved so much money on unnecessary tools and equipment, you can afford to invest in good polish. Although quality tends to shift from brand to brand, in general the more pricy polishes are not only better for your nails but have greater tenacity than those you might purchase from a discount store.

    Step Five: After choosing your color; be sure that you wipe your brush on the bottle’s lip to prevent any extra polish from accumulating.

    Use a three-stroke technique, beginning in the middle of your nail with two strokes on the side. Allow to dry completely between coats. Rushing at this point will cause clumps and streaks that you’ll have to fix after the entire nail dries, resulting in a manicure that takes an hour as opposed to the half you had intended. If you’re the impatient type, set an egg timer for two minutes to stop yourself from becoming tempted to reapply too soon.

    Step Six: When you are certain your polish is completely dry, apply a topcoat to seal the color and impart shine.

    Try to avoid the ‘quick dry’ topcoats, as they are less formidable than the old-fashioned variety. Don’t be tempted to skip this step - Not only does topcoat help your manicure last longer than a day or two, it actually helps to prevent water loss resulting in longer, stronger nails.

    With the current economy in a state of disarray and the rising popularity of frugality, most women and men have abandoned their weekly manicures. There’s no question that paying someone to groom your hands is a bit of a luxury, but there is absolutely no reason you can’t maintain your gorgeous digits at home. After all, it’s one thing to be financially strapped, it’s another thing entirely to look that way. Take thirty minutes to give yourself a quality manicure – when your nails catch the light throughout the day like radiant little jewels, you’ll be glad you did.

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