Thursday, September 16, 2010

Self Mani/Pedi DOs & DON'Ts

For ages now, manicures and pedicures have been the epitome of a woman's (and some men) ideal way of getting pampered.  For me, a mani/pedi is the best thing to do when I want to look pretty(er), after a stressful day, to compensate for a bad hair day, or when I want to add a little color to my day.  While I enjoy going to a professional to have my nails done, I also very much enjoy doing it at home.  Having that little "me" time is really relaxing.  I have an entire kit of "nail stuff" in a plastic container, including about 15 different shades of nail polish and other nail essentials such as cuticle sticks, nail trimmers, emory boards and buffers.  

If you are a mani/pedi DIY-er like myself, I think by now you have an idea of some basic do's and don'ts about how to do a home manicure or pedicure.  Here are mine:


  • Go outside the box when choosing a color. It can be a perfect opportunity to express your mood!
  • Have all your tools at hand before you start.
  • Soak your nails. Soak your nails. Soak your nails in warm water for at least 5 minutes.  It is very important to SOAK YOUR NAILS.
  • Use cuticle remover cream.  Follow the instructions.
  • Push back the cuticle and cut any hangnails carefully with a cuticle trimmer.
  • File your nails to your desired shape and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Apply a base coat to help the nail polish last longer
  • Apply 2 thin coats of nail color letting each coat dry thoroughly
  • Apply a fast drying top coat
  • Wait at least 20 minutes before doing doing anything that may ruin your manicure
  • Use a thin wooden stick wrapped with a little cotton and soaked in nail polish remover to clean the polish that may have gotten on your finger.  Cleaning the edges makes it look super professional.
  • Clean and disinfect all your tools after and before use


  • Hack yourself with the cuticle trimmers.  I've done this on many occasions... it hurts!  If you are not familiar with cuticle trimmers, don't use them.  Instead, gently push back the cuticles as described above.
  • Rush.  Enjoy the process. Take your time so that you can take pride in your DIY mani/pedi.
  • Think that your nail polish is dry and smudge-proof before 30 minutes have passed.  The fewer coats, the faster it will dry.  But for a base coat + 2 coats of color + top coat, it usually takes up to 2 hours for it to be smudge proof.
  • Let your manicure get too old and peel.  When things start looking a little bit bad, it's probably time to get the nail polish remover and get a fresh mani/pedi
  • Get discouraged if your nail polish ends up all over your fingers.  Try again. Practice makes perfect!

Hopefully you found this list useful.  Now I'm off to do my own nails!  Today's color: Haute Red from OPI- deliciously playful!  Yum!

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