Up next in How to Have Pretty Nails (10 videos)
Have pretty fingernails and toes with the mani-pedi tips in these Howcast videos.
You Will Need
- A dishwasher or some disinfectant
- Some nail polish remover
- Cotton balls
- Nail clippers
- An emery board
- Some warm, soapy water
- A shallow bowl
- A towel
- A cuticle oil or cream
- Some orange sticks
- Half a lemon
- Some hand cream
- A hot, damp towel
- A clear base coat
- A colored nail polish
- And a clear top coat
Take off rings
Take off any rings and set them aside until you are through and your nails are dry.
Make sure all reusable tools are clean. Run them through the dishwasher or clean them with disinfectant before starting.
Remove old polish
If there's any old polish on your nails, remove it with a cotton ball soaked in remover.
Trim & shape nails
Trim your nails with a clipper if they're on the longer side, and then shape them with the emery board into ovals or rounded squares. Start on one side of the nail and use short strokes in one direction only—toward the center of the nail—and then repeat on the other side of the nail.
Soak your fingers in a bowl filled with warm, soapy water for two minutes and then dry your hands.
Apply cuticle product
Massage cuticle oil or cream into your cuticles to soften them further.
Clean under nails
Pull off a small piece of a cotton ball and wrap it around the tip of an orange stick. Soak it in nail polish remover and use this to remove any dirt or lingering polish under your nails.
Push back cuticles
Push back your cuticles with the orange stick—use a new, disposable one or wash the one you've just used.
Trim any dead hangnails with your clippers.
Rub on hand cream
Rub on hand cream to moisturize your hands and cuticles.
Wrap your hands in a hot towel for a minute to help the cream soak in.
Wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover—they must be oil-free for the base coat to adhere properly.
Apply base coat
Apply a base coat of a colorless nail polish and allow it to dry.
Rotate your bottle of colored polish so the mixing ball in it stirs the polish, but don't shake—it will create bubbles, which will end up marring the finish on your nails.
Remove the wand from your colored polish, wiping one edge of the brush against the opening of the bottle to remove excess polish.
Apply first stroke
Place the brush in the middle of your nail, almost at the base of your cuticle. Back the brush up until the color just reaches the cuticle, then pull it forward to the end of your nail.
Cover entire nail
Repeat this to the right and left of the center stripe, dunking and wiping the brush on the bottle each time, so the entire nail is covered with three strokes.
Polish all nails
Continue polishing all your nails and let them dry completely.
Add 2nd coat
Add a second coat of colored polish in the same way and let them dry completely again.
Apply top coat
Apply a thin clear top coat to seal the color, and enjoy what might be the best part of the manicure process—at least an hour of enforced, hands-free relaxation.