Professional manicures can be extremely expensive, but with a little time and patience, and the right products, you can manicure yourself at home and achieve a very professional look. I suggest products from Essie and Nailtiques to get a salon quality manicure from your house.
The first thing to do is to clean old nail polish off with a nail varnish remover, like Nailtiques' non-acetone remover. Put liquid on cotton pads to remove, and then wash your hands thoroughly to ensure there are no traces of this remover as this will affect your new polish.
File your nails with an emery board (not metal files) to remove any ragged edges and to leave your nails at a uniform length. Swipe the emery board in one direction only, do not 'saw' backwards and forwards across the top of your nail, as this will split the nail layers.
Put your fingertips to soak in a small bowl with warm water and a little dish washing soap: this will soften your cuticles while removing any excess oil which may impede good adherence of nail varnish.
Once the cuticles are softened, apply some cuticle cream and massage in gently. Use the tip of an orange stick with a thin layer of cotton wrapped around and push back gently on the cuticles. Rub gently in a circular motion to remove any dead cuticle skin, while pushing back healthy cuticle away from the nail. Wash off any remaining cream or oil, and repeat all with the other hand, leaving the first to dry.
Once both hands are prepared for polishing, starting with the driest of the two, begin with a base coat. A general-purpose base coat will protect your nails from absorbing dyes from the nail polish (which will leave your nails tinted slightly even after you've removed your polish) and help the nail varnish last longer. A real good one here is Essie's First Base Base Coat.
Nails which are dry, ridged or prone to splitting and peeling will need a special base coat for the problem, like Essie's Protein Base Coat or Nailltique's Protein Formula. Three strokes is enough to cover the nail, one on each side and then one up the center, always beginning at the cuticle.
Allow this to dry then add the first coat of your chosen color, again with only three strokes; one each side and one up the center. It is very important to allow each coat to dry thoroughly before continuing with the next. Three coats is optimum as this will achieve the closest to the colour that you picked from the chart. Essie has a very wide range of colors to choose from and their nail varnish contains no Formaldehyde, DBP or Toluene.
Finish the job with a good top coat from Essie: this will protect your polish and nails from chipping or damage.
The best way to test if each layer is dry is with the tip of your tongue. Touch the nail very gently with your tongue, and if you can taste the varnish it's not dry. If you spoil the surface of any coat, you need to go back and start again from the base coat up. Nailtiques' Cuticle and Hand Cream will keep both in excellent, soft condition between manicures.
If you follow these tips on how to give yourself a professional style manicure at home, you should be able to achieve a salon quality look to your nails. Nailtiques and Essie provide all the top quality nail care products that one could possibly need, and are available at excellent prices from febstore