Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Champagne Tuesday Spa - Monika's Mani

Sometimes the most fun you can have with your BFF's is weeknight spa/pampering. With the CT girls, we not only do spa night, but we do it up right! Whether we're doing mani/pedis, paraffin wax dips, makeup tips or hairstyle ideas, we all are girly enough to love it! One recent CT we did manis, and by popular demand (Amy, Lauren)  I'm sharing my tips for a perfect at-home mani. 

Monika's Perfect Mani
1. Remove nailpolish (self-explanatory)
2. Shape nails with a medium-grit file. The best ones I've seen are the blue files available at any CVS, Walgreens. Decide if you want to do a round tip or a square. To determine what works best for you, look at the shape of your hands. NOTE: File in one direction! If you go in different directions, you'll wind up with little nail bits on the tips.
3. Use a buffer block to smooth out any splits in your nails or any weird chips in the surface of your nail.
4. Grab the olive oil out of your kitchen cabinet and pour a little into a small dish. Take a small paint brush and swipe the olive oil over your cuticles. You can brush all the way up the side of your nail if you want extra moisturizing. Let this soak into your cuticles for a couple minutes.
5. Take an orange stick and gentle easy cuticles back. Don't push too hard that you cause yourself pain.
6. Go to the kitchen sink and wash your hands. Wash them thoroughly...don't leave any dust or oil on the nail itself.

Here's the point where you start the actual manicure. Line up your polish bottles on the table and make sure you have the lids loosened so that you don't mess up your mani. Each coat is done one after another...don't wait between. Think of your polish as doublesided tape...the bottom coat adheres to the next coat, etc. Don't do thick gloppy coats either...a simple thin coat is sufficient. Finally, don't worry about color not looking bright. You'll need to do two coats of polish. If you go outside the lines, again, no worries. The color will either come off after your polish is dry and you wash your hands, or you can use polish remover.

You'll need the following:
-Chip Skip
-Nail Envy
-Polish
-Top Coat


7. Start with a coat of Chip Skip or something like it to keep polish chips to a minimum.
8. Immediately after the Chip Skip, use a coat of nail strengthener like Nail Envy or one of the Sally Hanson Hard as Nails products to encourage nail growth.
9. On to the color! Pick whatever color you like. Note that darker colors will be a bit tougher to paint on because they can look streaky after the first coat. You'll do two coats, one right after the other. Start with one swipe of polish up the middle of the nail, pushing down on the nailbrush gently. You'll get a nice stripe of color. Then, angle the brush slightly and paint each remaining side. You don't need to go all the way to the side. It's a visual trick - most manicurists don't actually paint all the way to the skin. They leave a little space on the sides, which makes your nail look longer and thinner. The bonus is that this helps keep painting outside the lines to a minimum, so keep this tip in mind!
10. Once you've done your two coats, take your top coat and do a thin layer on all your nails.

You're done! I like to let my nails dry for a full hour to make sure they don't get nicked or dented. Any questions? If so, leave them in the comments. My disclaimer is this - I'm not a manicurist, but as someone who likes pretty nails, these tips work for me. Enjoy!

- Monika

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