So, it’s week 7 of lockdown and many of us are desperate to visit our favourite beauty salons again! Being a beautician myself I know the importance of visiting a salon, having a little you time and the pleasure of someone else doing your nails.
Long gone are the days of nail polish…gel polish has been firmly on everyone’s beauty treatment list since the late 2000’s, that was until lockdown came and hit us like a tonne of bricks, back out come the polish’s in an attempt to make us feel and look human again.
I have been doing nails now for 15 years, it started like most women as a passion for painting and the obsession with buying a new polish every time I went shopping, its crazy to think I’ve had a beauty salon for 6 years and we don’t even use nail polish anymore.
As gel polish is intended for professional use only, I’m going to give you some tips and advise on how to quickly and easily create those salon quality nails at home with some of my favourite nails.
Prep is Key
Prepping your nails pre polish is one of the most important parts to achieving that high-quality finish, this means more than just filing your nails – we can’t be neglecting those cuticles now either. If like me, you take pleasure in doing your own nails or playing nail tech to the guys in your household then I would seriously invest in some quality tools!
I have been using Navy Pro tools for the past 6 months and they are a game changer! These British made; high quality tools not only do the work for you, but they are so pretty too! (I mean who knew we would be saying that about a cuticle pusher all those years ago).
Many cheap steel tools are porous and allow bacteria to stay harboured on the surface, unlike a salon we rarely sanitise and disinfect our tools at home often just popping them back in the draw we got from them. With Navy tools you can buy a cleaning kits to look after those tools and avoid any unwanted infections!
They also do amazing brow tools as well!
Finding the right file
Years ago, we were told that we could only file our nails in one direction or we would ruin them…that was when nail files were that sharp you could use them to sand your garden fence down! Filing your nails in both directions is a game changer, not only will it save you so much time but its like trying to drive with two hands on the wheel like you did when you were learning. Practically impossible now!
For natural nails you should NEVER use a file with a grit with less than 180 – these are designed for acrylic nails and nail extension removal. These are way too harsh for those pinkies!
You should also invest in a spray sanitiser to clean your files before and after use. We don’t want any cross contamination now!
Don’t be Buffy the nail slayer
I used to be OBSESSED with buffing my nails when I was younger and loved how glass like and glossy I could get them, only to be told when I went and had Minx nails done (yes I know remember those things!) that I would ruin my nails and make them thin.
A thought that still haunts me now.
Whilst glossy glass nails are gorgeous don’t be buffing your nails more than once a week or you could cause damage to your nails that takes a long time to grow out. If you love a high shine, why not invest in a shiny clear polish?
Painting like a pro
One of the first mistakes most people make is they go straight onto their nails with polish and the brush is so loaded up that it could paint 20 sets of nails. When you open the polish be sure to fully wipe one side of your brush against the pot to remove unwanted polish that may drip onto your nails.
Don’t go cuticle crazy – painting your cuticles is not a good look Hun! Loaded up and armed ready to charge nearly everyone goes straight in for the kill and drowns those poor little cuticles with polish. I always like to steadily start a little back from the cuticles to allow me to push my brush slowly closer until I have created a neat line, I can then paint down the length of the nail.
Look at the shape of your nail brush, generally these are designed to follow the shape of the cuticle and have a soft curve to enable you to get close and create that clean crisp line. Let the brush do the hard work for you!
Blow Me Dry
Some polish’s can take ages to dry and generally the colours that are highly pigmented and thicker in texture are the ones that need the most dry time. It’s important to wait between each coat for it to dry or else you will be adding layer on layer of wet polish that will just never set before you smudge them.
Most professional polish lines such as OPI/ CND and Peacci (my personal fave) dry quicker than those you can buy on the high street because nails is what they do and they create them for fast paced beauty salons looking to treat time short clients. Professional brands will normally dry in less than 10 minutes.
Day 2 and you have a chip already…great stuff!
Often the reason nails chip is either the polish is too thin, or your nails are weak and bendy. Putting something stiff onto something soft isn’t going to stay in place! You wouldn’t expect wallpaper to dry on a wet wall would you.
Try either painting slightly thicker layers of polish when painting or look to treat your nails with a strengthener in between manicures to help harden them up and stop being so flimsy.
Oil Me Up
We moisturise our face everyday, but we rarely moisturise our hair or nails, then wonder why these are so dry!
Applying cuticle oil every day will help nourish your nails and cuticles and will completely change the appearance of your nails! We can always tell in the salon if someone has stopped wearing cuticle oil within the space of two weeks, as the condition and look of their nails is much worse.
We use the amazing NAF! Oils in our salon which are designed to take on the go and for ultimate ease! They come in so many amazing smells too its hard not to use them all the time! (my personal fave is Pina Colada!)
So, take some time out, get some music on, grab a drink and lets create that salon experience!
Thanks for reading Hun
Lauren Lily Lea xxx