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This is a very basic manicure tutorial for when all you want to do is tidy up and polish your nails to a salon standard, but don’t have time or any need to do your cuticles etc.

1. Begin with clean nails, removing old polish with your preferred nail polish remover and cotton wool pad.
2. Using an emery board or nail file, gently tidy and shape your nails, filing in one direction only to avoid weakening the nails. I have recently started using a crystal file (mine is from the Barbara Daly makeup range in Tesco) and quite like it. I thought it might be quite tough on my fairly brittle nails but in actual fact I have found it to be more gentle than emery boards, in my opinion. Definitely converted!
3. Gently buff the nails to remove any light ridging. Don’t be too vigorous with this as you don’t want to thin the nail too much, just give the varnish a smooth base. There is no need to use the smoothing part of the buffer if you will be polishing your nails.

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4. Paint on your basecoat and allow to dry. I try to use a nourishing or strengthening one to offset the effects of painting my nails frequently.
5. Paint 1-2 coats of your nail colour (I used two coats). I find that even if you get good coverage with one coat, a second coat always gives a better finish.
6. And finally, clean up the edges with a cotton bud dipped in nail varnish and paint on a coat of topcoat to seal your colour and help it last!

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A couple of tips to help your manicure last – let it dry properly before you do anything! Plunging your fingertips into ice cold water can help it dry quicker, and I’ve also heard a drop of baby oil on each nail can speed up drying. I generally just let mine dry themselves so can’t vouch for either. Also make sure you don’t have your hands immersed in water for extended periods of time as this is the quickest way to ruin your manicure! So get the marigolds out!

If you smudge your almost dry nails, an effective way to smooth out a wrinkle is to lick your fingertip and smooth the wrinkle out gently – it works!

Happy painting!

BM

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