Recession-Proof Beauty: Nail Care Tips
When it comes to nail beauty, manicures and pedicures are a must. There’s nothing quite like slipping into a comfy chair and being exfoliated, trimmed, moisturized, and painted while you chat with a friend. Unfortunately,manis and pedis are usually one of the first things to go when it comes to cutting back on spending. If your budget is nail care-free, here’s a few tips for keeping your fingers and toes looking fabulous without the help of a nail salon.
Invest in the Tools
Great food comes from high-quality ingredients, fantastic clothing is made with the finest fabrics, and gorgeous nails can only be achieved through the use of good tools. For the cost of one high-end manicure or pedicure, you can purchase all the nail supplies you need for many at-home nail beauty days. Must-haves include:
- Nail polish remover for removing old color
- Nail clippers for trimming nails
- Cuticle pusher and trimmer for shortening and shaping cuticles
- Emory board for shaping and smoothing nails
- Exfoliator for removing dead skin on the feet and legs
- Moisturizing cream for restoring hydration to the skin on the feet and legs
- Base coat, polish, and top coat formulas for coloring the nails
Optional nail care products:
- Essential oils for scenting your foot soak
- Bath or Epsom salts for softening calluses and dead skin
- Foot file or pumice stone for extra exfoliation
- Cuticle remover and oil for further cuticle management
Nail Care How-to
Remove all old color with an acetone nail polish remover. Acetone-free removers may be used, but it will be much harder to remove the old polish. Fill a large, shallow bowl with very warm water, and add salts or essential oils if desired. Soak your hands or feet for at least 10 minutes, more if you have very dry skin or calluses. When the skin and nails are nice and soft, begin by trimming the nails to the desired length and filing the edges until they’re smooth and even. (Make sure you don’t round the corners of your toenails; they could become ingrown.)
Apply cuticle remover if you’re using one and let it sit for a few seconds. Taking a cuticle pusher or orangewood stick, push the cuticles using a gentle circular motion. Use clippers to remove any loose cuticles, making sure to keep away from clipping sensitive flesh. If desired, apply a few drops of moisturizing cuticle oil to keep them supple and smooth.
After the cuticles have been trimmed and shaped, it’s time to exfoliate! For feet, apply your skin beauty exfoliating formula to a foot file or pumice stone, and gently scrub away the dead skin and calluses on the heel, ball, and sides of the feet. For hands, simply “wash” your hands with theexfoliator and rinse. Be sure you don’t over-exfoliate; you never want the skin to become red or feel sensitive.
Dry hands and feet thoroughly, and apply your favorite bath and body lotion. Give yourself a mini-massage to boost the luxury level of your at-home nail care routine. Remove excess oils from the nails with your nail polish remover, and rub them dry with a soft, clean towel. Now it’s time to paint!
Apply a thin base coat using only three strokes or less on each nail. If your base coat is too thick, the polish won’t apply easily or look professionally painted. After the base coat, apply two coats of your nail polish of choice. When the polish feels mostly dry to the touch, apply a thin top coat to keep color looking fresh and vibrant. It’s important that you let each layer dry for a few moments before applying the next layer. When all is said and done, allow your nails to dry for at least 40 minutes to achieve the longest-lasting color.
With these professional beauty tips in mind, you don’t need the actual professional! Just pop in your favorite movie, throw on a cushy robe, and treat yourself to a fun at-home spa day that won’t break the bank.