Keeping your nails looking fresh is an important part of many of our beauty rituals, but for some that’s easier said than done. Spa appointments are nice once in a while, but it’s also much more cost effective to do your nails at home. Tom Bachik, L’Oreal Paris’ Celebrity Nail Artist and the MANicurist for stars like Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez, knows a thing or two about nails and let us in on some of his no-fail secrets. Follow his steps to avoid common nail mistakes and master your mani at home.
Skip the soak
We may be used to giving our nails a good soak before a mani, but this actually changes the shape of the nails and how polish adheres to them. Instead, try giving them a quick wipe with rubbing alcohol to prep the nail bed.
Care for those cuticles
Gently push them back with a cuticle stick, but try to avoid trimming them back since this can actually cause them to grow back thicker as they try to protect the nail base. Afterwards, just buff around the cuticle area for a smooth finish.
Find your shape
File the tips of your nails to your favourite length and shape, using a smooth file with a high grit (a file that is too coarse can result in peeling nails). Having trouble making your tips even? Try holding your hand fanned out, with your finger tips facing away from you, while you file.
Build a base
Before applying your polish, start with a layer of base coat. It acts like double-sided tape for the nail, giving the nail polish more to adhere to for longer wear. Don’t just use any base coat though, make sure you find the right one for your nail type, whether it’s to fill ridges or add strength.
Add your colour
The fun part! Apply polish to the nail (we love the new L’Oreal Paris Le Vernis A L’Huile since it contains a blend of four precious oils for amazing colour and shine), applying a little pressure with the applicator so the tip of the brush fans out to match the rounded shape of the cuticle. Use thin, even coats of polish, allowing it to dry for one to tow minutes before applying a second coat, and then a layer of top coat.
Clean it up
Dip a thin brush (a lip brush or fine paintbrush are perfect for this) into nail polish remover and use it to remove any excess polish around the nail or on the cuticles.
There’s nothing worse than dry, ragged cuticles. Massage cuticle oil into them to hydrate, soften and smooth. Tom actually uses facial oil for this, and swears by L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil, as the blend of eight essential oils adds the perfect dose of hydration. Make this a part of your daily ritual, whether it’s first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed if you don’t want to walk around with oil on your hands.