Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring Fling!

I must admit that I am part of the 58% of American women that paint their nails regularly. The average time it takes for my nails to chip is about 2 days. Let's do some math!

1 Manicure/week @ $6.00
1 Polish Change/week @ $4.00
Tip/visit 2 @ $2.00

Total: $14.00 (Rip off!)

Thanks to my handy B.F.A. and four years at art school, I am one of the few people that can actually pull off a DIY manicure. It's a lot cheaper! I recently went to Urban Outfitters (don't laugh, I was bored) and they had an awesome deal on nail polish 2 for $6.00 in really cute colors for spring. The brand is L.A. Girl Flare and it is the best thing since sliced bread for at home manni's. Everyone can benefit from saving a few bucks this time of year, so continue reading for some tips.
The Basics

*Invest in a really good file (and by invest I mean the $1.99 ones) Ricky's has some good deals.
If you live in a neighborhood with dollar stores, check the health and beauty 'aisles.' They have some decent ones in stock most of the time.

*Nail polish remover. Seriously never go without. I buy they jar that you can stick your finger in because it's less messy and lasts forever. It's really whatever you prefer. Again, check your dollar store.

*Pick a good time. I like to paint my nails at least 2 hours before I go to bed. The morning is a good time if you aren't going to work. I put on some 90210 reruns or reggeaton for the authentic salon feel.

The Prep

*Wash your hands and dry. It's good to start a mani fresh out of the shower.

*Start by shaping your nails with your bargain file and gently pushing your cuticles back. Don't cut your cuticles - EVER. It's gross, and they are usually worse after than they were in the first place.

*To solve a cuticle conundrum, after you've finished filing, take some lotion (I like aloe) and really work it into your hands and nails. This will ensure that they are healthy and will grow nicely. Moisturizing is the key.

*Gently scuff your whole nail with the finer side of your file. This helps the nail polish stick to your nails.

The Paint

*I'm left handed, so I start by painting my left hand. I have less control with my right hand, and trying to use it with wet nails is a recipe for disaster.

*This is the part where you have to get all zen and in the zone. Shake up your polish real good. (put yo back into it) Open, and gently brush off excess polish. You don't want too much on the brush because it will flood your nail, and too little will look thin and nasty. Practice a couple times (this is why the remover is key) till you find your polish's sweet spot.

*The first stroke should be up the center of the nail. Don't start your stroke too close to your cuticle, or that will make it look messy. The goal is to coat your nail with as few strokes as possible. Don't get too crazy, the more you practice the better you'll get.

*Repeat, one stroke to the left side, one stroke to the right.

*Wait 2 minutes between each coat. I wait a whole commercial break between each hand.

*Finish with a top coat, or two. I like that really glossy look. A good top coat is the NYC brand that you can pick up at most CVS or Duane Reade stores.

Post Paint

*Every couple of days touch up with your top coat, and remember to MOISTURIZE!

Got a question? Email Me!

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