Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mastering my nails

As I have gotten older I have decided that I want my outside to represent the way I feel inside. That has meant more make-up and grooming amongst other things. I also no longer wanted to hide my feet under thick white socks. I didn't want to be embarrassed when I shook someones hand. That led to regular manicures, pedicures, and a trip to the podiatrist. I have tried to paint my nails so many times but I am usually rushing so it looked like a 5 year old did my polish. Paint all over the place. I didn't have the patience for it. So I dutifully went to Vickie's Nail Boutique twice a month. At $45 plus tip, it is not very budget friendly. There are less expensive places in the city but after having to call the health department after going to an unsanitary establishment, I decided to be more discerning. It would be silly to lose a toe to an unsanitary pedicure. 

With one pedi and two manicures a month, I was spending more than I liked. Every couple of months I start looking for things to slash from my budget. I thought the mani-pedis should be a part of that. After all, sometimes I just need a polish touchup. I could also save money by not going to Georgetown which also means peaking into Zara, Lulu, or Anthropologie as I needed a way to justify going in circles to find a parking space. 

I read a few websites and watched a few Youtube videos to learn better technique. I bombed the first few attempts.  After just a few more tries, I have been pretty successful. I even had a stranger comment on my tootsies today. Woot! So let me share my process with you. 

My Arsenal

Cuticle Nipper
Nail Clipper
Nail File
Coconut Oil
Toe Separators
Sally Hansen Nail Corrector Pen
Base Coat, Nail Color, Quick Drying Top Coat

1. Trim nails down to the desirable length. 
2. Soak feet  and hands in water to get everything soft. I just fill up the tub with a little water and soak for 5 minutes. 
3. File nails
4. Apply gel cuticule remover and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. It will dissolve excess cuticle
5. Use an orange stick to gently push cuticles pack and to clean around the edges of the nail
6. Rinse to remove cuticle residue
7. Use a cuticle nipper to cut off any dry skin or hang nails
8. Check the shape of the nail and fix any mistakes
9. If your feet are rough apply gel cuticle remover to rough areas and let it sit (pedi only)
10. Use your Diamencel #20 to scrub off rough feet (pedi only)
11. Rinse and apply lotion
12. Use polish remover to remove excess polish from nail bed
13. Using this technique apply your base coat, color coat and top coat. Waiting 1-2 minutes for each coat to dry
14. Use the corrector pen to clean up any messes. 

The key here is to give yourself 90 mins to do a pedicure and manicure. You want to include adequate drying time so that your hard work isn't in vain. Don't look at your toes 20 minutes before date night and decide that you need a pedi. Or do your manicure and then realized that you need to wash a sink full of dirty dishes. Look at your feet closely once a week to check for maintenance. If my polish is still on point but my cuticles are raggedy, I just apply some gel cuticle remover and very gently remove excess cuticle with the orange stick without disturbing the polish. That makes my toes look as good as new without redoing my polish. 

I spend the same 90 minutes on doing my nails but at home. It  cost about $80 for all of these supplies. If you use coupons you can always get free polish and other beauty tools.  If your feet aren't as rough as mine you can surely skip the Diamencel and find a cheaper foot file but this works so well and will last forever. I also use only Essie or OPI so cheaper polishes will bring down your cost. I also didn't buy all of this stuff at once. I have accumulated the supplies over the years as I tried and failed repeatedly to paint my own nails.

I am pretty satisfied with my current results and I know I can get it perfect with even more practice. Take that recession!

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