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Express Manicure Steps

by Letisha Tate-Dunning
Express Manicure Steps

There are few things that can lift your mood like freshly painted nails.



Here we show you the steps for a quick but effective manicure that will have you feeling a million bucks in no time. Even if you’re not one for bright colours, a nude or pale pink polish will make them look fab. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Cotton balls/pads
  • Nailpolish remover
  • Nail file
  • Base coat/Top coat
  • Colour/polish of choice


Also, some optional extras:


  • Hand/nail moisturiser
  • Nail buffer



Note, this is an express manicure so we don’t bother with cuticles etc. I personally find they take too much time.



1. Clean nails & remove old polish


I often find it’s good to do your nails after you’ve had a shower or a bath. This way the nails are softer and easier to shape. If you’re really in a rush, just wash your hands and soak in some warm water for a couple of minutes. Remove any old nailpolish using a gentle nailpolish remover. Dip your cotton ball/pad into the remover and hold onto each nail for a few seconds before swiping.



2. Moisturise


This will make a world of difference to how your hands feel after. However, be sure to wipe some nailpolish remover over the nails before applying base coat to ensure it adheres to the nail properly.



3. File & buff


I personally don’t use scissors to cut my nails unless I have to, I find a nail file does a much better job of shaping and shortening just enough to keep them the length I like. However, if scissors or clippers are more your thing go for it, but be sure to file afterwards. I also like to use a nail buff to go over the nails and create a smooth surface for the polish.



4. Use a base coat


Base coats make a world of difference in protecting the nail underneath, preventing discolouration and ensuring that the first coat of colour will go on nice and evenly. I choose to use a 2-in-1 base coat and top coat, but if you have dry or brittle nails, opt for a repairing one.



5. Apply colour


The most important part of your manicure. Start in the middle of your nail, push back and then swipe forward. Do the left and right hand sides of the nail. Avoid getting too close to the base of the nail and if you make any mistakes, just wait for it to dry and then dip a q-tip in nailpolish remover and clean around it.


Check out a picture that shows how here, or watch this video.



6. Apply top coat


This is a crucial step in ensuring that your manicure stays chip-free and looking polished. You don’t have to be too careful with the top coat, just ensure the layer of colour underneath is dry before applying.



7. Dry, dry, dry


This is the hardest bit for me, but it’s always so disheartening to find a big smudge or chip in freshly painted nails. Try painting them at night just before you go to bed, and have a bowl of icy water ready to plunge your nails into once dry to the touch. This will set them completely and you’ll wake up in the morning with perfect nails.







We don’t recommend doing this all the time, but if you do get a smudge, try licking the nail and running another finger over the top. Crazy but it works!


Keep your nailpolish in the fridge! It keeps better and for longer, especially for those that live in warmer climates.




Do you have any other manicure tips you swear by? Let us know by commenting below.

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