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The 10-step Programme - your DIY manicure primer

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The 10-step Programme

Your DIY manicure primer

After 11 years doing manicures I have spoken to so many clients who say they can’t get that salon finish at home. Well, you can – it just takes patience and a bit of practice.

The most important thing is to have the right tools to start with: a soft nail file (one that is 240 grit and for natural nails only), clippers, buffer, cuticle oil, cuticle stick, make-up remover pads, nail polish remover and glass of wine. The latter, of course, is optional.

It’s all about the prep when you want to achieve that salon look at home. To ensure your polish lasts, looks even and has a shiny finish, follow these 10 easy steps.

Step one Trim and file your nails. The simplest and most flattering shape is square with a rounded edge. If you try to file to oval or round it can end up looking a little wonky. If you’re using a good natural nail file don’t be afraid to file back and forth. Gently file flat across the top of each nail and then move the file to the edge and angle to just soften the edge (see diagram).

Step two Gently buff nails using the first three sides of a four-way buffer (the fourth and finest side comes later). This helps clean the nail plate and gives you a smooth surface for your polish to sit on.

Step three Gently massage Miss Frankie Nourish Me cuticle oil into each nail bed and around the cuticles, then use the fourth side of your buffer and buff the oil into each nail.

Step four Prep the nail. Apply nail polish remover to a make-up remover pad and clean each nail. There should be no oil left on the surface.

Step five This is a super-important step and one you can’t miss. Apply a thin layer of Miss Frankie’s Bond With Me base coat to each nail. It’s important not to be heavy-handed – too thick and your polish won’t sit evenly over the top.

Step six Let’s do this. It should come as no surprise that actually applying the nail polish is the tricky part. I always find it best to start with my non-preferred hand and get the hard one done first. To avoid getting polish all over your cuticles (and your sofa) use this three-stroke technique.

When you lift the brush from the bottle, wipe it off a little on each side. Starting with your pinky finger, apply the polish to the middle of the nail bed. Use a little pressure so the brush fans out and push up as close to the cuticle as you can without touching it. Stroke all the way to the tip of the nail.  Don’t stress if it is a bit streaky – leave it and even it up on second coat. Dip the brush back into bottle, wipe, then apply to the middle of the nail again, but this time move the brush along one side of the nail so you get a nice line along the edge. Repeat and apply to other side.

Move along the hand, then swap to your preferred side.

Now, I didn’t say it was going to be as quick as the express mani at your favourite salon. Go slow so your coat is not too thick and you have a good even line.

Step seven One coat isn’t going to cut it. Starting at the beginning, use the same technique to apply a second coat to each nail. Try and cover the same lines as the first coat. If you need to tidy up, dip your cuticle stick in nail polish remover and carefully clean any mistakes.

Step eight Have a sip of wine (finally) and just let the coats dry for five minutes. OK, so maybe more than one sip of wine is required.

Step nine Let’s seal the deal and apply Miss Frankie Make Me Shine top coat. Don’t be heavy handed – you just need a nice even layer to coat and seal the entire nail. 

Step 10 After 60 seconds, apply Miss Frankie Dry Me in a Flash drying drops. They are quite amazing and set the top coat instantly to make it touch dry. That doesn’t mean you can swan off to do the dishes or dig in the garden. It just makes them smudge proof, so you won’t have any dodgy marks, but you still need to be careful for the next hour or so until they are fully set.

So that might have taken a bit longer than you thought, but well done. Feel free to sit back and admire your handy work. 

Love MF xx