I am blessed and well endowed with beautiful long natural nails, even if I do say so myself.

Over the years, I have learned to take care of my natural nails myself, because I didn’t like them being handled by someone else.

Every time a nail technician sees my fingernails, he/she admires them, goes into protective mode and then advises me to “wrap” them in acrylic and I always have to tell them that my nails are naturally hard enough and will stay unbroken unless I force them. Plus, they always want to buff the top of my nails and it’s a big “no-no” for me, as it causes cracks which they make them peal and break.

So, I decided to learn to do them myself. I’ll admit, it took me a while to become a “pro” at it, but I made it.

Here are my top tips on how to DIY paint your natural nails in the comfort of your home:

First things, light a candle or burn incense to get into the relaxation mode. Lol. Then start by filing your nails in your desired style. Always stroke your nail file in one direction to avoid uneven ends.

Tip 1. Always use a base coat. The base coat gives the coloured polish something to adhere to, making your manicure last a little bit longer. It also prevents staining on your nails from the pigment in the coloured nail polish.

Tip 2. Don’t fill the brush with too much nail polish. Take excess polish off by leaning the brush on the opening of the bottle.

Tips 3. Apply from the middle of your fingernail and spread the strokes to the left and right of the nail. Make the polish do most of the work and spread it out with the brush as it hits the nail

Tip 4. Always use a topcoat. This also makes the nail polish last longer. It prevents chips. Paint it all the way to the tip to seal in the coloured polish.

Tip 5. Clean your edges with a ball of cotton wool and nail polish remover. You can also use an old lip brush dipped in nail polish remover. Swipe either of these along the nail edges to clean up the nail bed.

Tip 6. Dry with cold water. Run your hands under the cold tap or dip your fingers in ice water for a minute or two. This will actually help them dry faster. Fill out your bowl with cold water and chill. Literally.

Tip 7. Use cuticle oils always. A great way to look like you just stepped out of the nail salon is to use cuticle oil. It instantly hydrates your nails. Apply over your dry nails and gently rub in. If you have extra cuticles sticking out, you can use the cuticle remover to push them in. Never cut the cuticles.

Tip 8: Only use three coats. That’s all you need actually. Resist the urge to layer on the polish. It becomes clumpy and sticky and in the Nigerian heat, makes drying longer and increases the chance of smudging the nail colour.

Tip 9. Don’t do your nails and then do the dishes or have a hot bath. Your polish will smudge.

Tip 10: To remove your nail polish after satisfactory wear, soak each finger one at a time for a few minutes in your nail polish remover and then use a ball of cotton wool to wipe the polish off.

These tips will have your nails looking nice and exquisite.

 

ABOUT THE WRITER

 

Tewa Onasanya is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of Exquisite Magazine.

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