Allure catches up with some of the best manicurists around to share pro tips on making beautiful manicures last longer, getting the most out of a salon visit, and working with press-on polish.
To get a magnificent manicure:
- Exfoliate nails with a gentle buffer.
- Rub a cuticle remover over and around nails.
- Go over nails with a nail polish remover.
- Use a superfine or medium file to shape nails.
- Don’t shape the sides of nails unless they are at least an eighth of an inch beyond the fingertip
- Don’t shake the polish bottle, but instead roll it between your palms.
- Use a ridge-filler as a basecoat to fill in ridges that might appear in photos.
- Apply two thin layers of polish for an even manicure.
- Apply polish to the tips of nails to prevent chipping
- Let nails air-dry for two minutes and then plunge them into ice-water help the polish harden,
- Apply topcoat every other day to keep nails looking their best and apply cuticle oil to nails every night.
To get the most out of a trip to the nail salon:
- Avoid cutting nails before a salon appointment so that the professional manicurist or nail technician can have something to work with.
- Bring your own tools or leave a set at the salon for your visits as an added measure against germs.
- Don’t be afraid to ask that your manicurist use a new nail file, as well as a new block-like scrubber that’s used for pedicures.
- Try to avoid nail dryers to prevent bubbles from forming. They may not be visible for up to an hour afterwards.
To get press-on polish to work for you:
Try Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips for a quick manicure that’s just as beautiful and shiny as a real manicure. The strips are made of actual nail lacquer and plasticizer, which allows them to stretch and conform to the nail’s shape. Try Red-Y for Trouble to get a bright, cherry red nail that’s perfect for any occasion.
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