Friday, October 12, 2007

Prepare Nails for Art

Following the steps in Nail Maintenance, before applying the colour and top coat, choose what nail art you wish to perform on your nails. This may include stickers, air brushing with stencils or free hand drawing with instruments such as paintbrushes of various sizes, toothpicks, bobby pins and sewing needles.

Nail Maintenance

To prepare your nails for a manicure, you will require the following equipment.
  • Cotton Balls
  • Non-Acetone Polish Remover
  • Nail Trimmer
  • Cuticle oil and Orange Stick
  • Nail Polish
  • Hand and Nail Moisturizer
  • Emery Board (non-metal)
Removing Nail Polish
Remove any old nail polish, ensuring the edges and underside of the nail are clean. Do this by dampening a cotton ball with the remover, placing it on the nail and stroking down a of couple times. Do not soak the nail in the remover, as it can dry out the nail. If there are any little bits in the corners, use a small piece of cotton wool wrapped around a toothpick and dipped in remover.
Cuticle Removal
Soak nails for a couple of minutes in warm water before using the cuticle oil and orange stick to gently push down the cuticle. Never cut them as this may lead to infection. Wrap a small piece of cotton wool onto the orange stick and dip in the oil and then push back the cuticle to where it meets the skin.
Ex-foliating and Moisturizing Hands
Make a natural scrub such as those found in or purchase one from a shop.
Use a good moisturizer made especially for hands and nails, concentrating especially around the nails. Allow the cream to sink in, and for especially dry hands, wear cotton gloves overnight.
When you are ready, wash hands in a good soap to remove oils from the cuticle oil and cream. Alternatively, you can use nail polish remover to remove the oils.
Trim and Shape Fingernails
Use a sharp pair of scissors to trim nails back to a similar size, nails of the same length look better than nails of different lengths. Using an emery nail file, which usually has a rough surface on at least one side, file them down a bit and shape into a style that suits your hand size and cuticle shape, such as square cuticles look best with squared tips. Today's better-quality files mean you file back and forth if you so desire, without splitting the nail.
Do not file across the nail surface, as this will roughen the surface.
Use a buffer to smooth ridges and jagged edges, as well as encourage blood to the nail bed.
With a 3-in-1 Buffer that consists of a nail file, buffer and polish, use the roughest texture to smooth the edges of the nail. Buff in only one direction, but be careful not to over-buff as this will weaken the nail.
Once the nail is smooth, it will be easier for polish to adhere to.
If you want to remove the shine, lightly swipe over the nail with a 240 or higher grit abrasive.
Begin by painting on a clear Base coat. Base coat prevents dark colours from staining the nail and strengthens the nail. Paint one stripe down the middle then one on either side. Allow to dry.
If you own a calcium gel or nail thickener, feel free to use it.
Next step is to apple 2-3 layers of your chosen colour/s and allow to dry, before applying a final clear top coat. Top coat will protect the colour and help prevent chipping.