Going to the salon every other week gets expensive, but there are useful, free, and creative ways to get the perfect manicure without making that bank account-draining bi-weekly appointment. Check out these hacks for a great manicure.
Nail Care Hacks
1. Prevent Split Nails by Wearing Gloves in Water
If you’ve ever had the displeasure of a split fingernail, you understand why it’s important to protect your hands. Wear rubber or latex gloves while washing dishes or hand washing clothes to keep your manicure in tip top shape and prevent cracked nails.
2. Restore Cuticles Overnight
Instead of using chemicals on your cuticles, try this overnight remedy for unruly cuticles. As you sleep, your cuticles will become soft and moisturized.
3. Remove Nail Polish Stains with Tooth Whitener
After taking off red nail polish, have you noticed a pink or orange tinge to your nails? There’s an easy way to get rid of it: tooth whitener.
4. Go Natural with Hand Lotion
Not all hand lotions are created equal, so when you want a hand lotion you can trust to contain natural ingredients, you may need to make it yourself. One recipe incorporates aloe vera, essential oils, beeswax, and Vitamin E oil for a naturally moisturizing hand lotion.
5. Create Your Own Hand Scrub
If your hands have a lot of dead skin, lotion alone won’t be able to soothe it. Consider creating hand scrub at home that has the same beneficial effects as the expensive stuff sold in stores. The Beauty Department’s blend of lemon, sugar, coconut oil, and Argan oil is instantly enriching while exfoliating skin.
6. Correct Nail Polish Mistakes Quickly
Having globs of nail polish on the sides of each finger isn’t an attractive look, and announces to the world, “I DIY-ed my mani.” Instead, use a brush and some nail polish remover to create a clean line around the nail and successfully trick your friends into thinking a professional did your nails.
7. Mend a Broken Nail without Pain
Have you ever had a broken nail that threatened to break down to the quick? If you have, you understand how painful that can be. Instead of biting or ripping off a piece of broken nail, use a piece of a tea bag and some nail glue to make a quick (and painless) repair.
8. Prevent Over-Polishing with Vaseline
Protect the skin around your nails, whether working on your toes or fingernails, by applying petroleum jelly to the edges. Once you’re finished polishing, there will be no extra swipes of nail polish to clean up.
9. Use a Glass Nail File for the Best Manicure
Part of the reason nails peel in layers at the tip is the way in which they are filed. Using a glass nail file prevents keratin separation at the nail bed, resulting in a long-lasting, healthy manicure and reduced risk of breakage.
10. Whiten Yellow Nails Naturally
Consistently polishing your nails can result in gradual staining and a yellowish appearance. Easily remove staining by mixing 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with 2 ½ tablespoons of baking soda.
11. Clever Nail Polish Storage
Use shoe boxes or old picture boxes to sort and organize your nail polish bottles. Add a drop of color to a sticker and place it on the top of the bottle to easily identify the color you want.
12. Remove Nail Oil with Vinegar
Nail polish stays on longer when applied to a clean, dry nail. Unfortunately, invisible oils can sabotage your new manicure. Before applying nail polish, swipe each fingernail with white vinegar to cut through any oils on the nail.
13. Help Your Nail Polish Dry Fast
Want your nail polish to dry quickly (and avoid unsightly accidents)? Dip your manicured nails into a bowl of ice water for approximately 3 seconds to expedite the drying process.
14. Create Matte Nail Polish at Home
Can’t part with your favorite shade, but wish it was less shiny? Add a matte top coat to any nail polish by mixing clear polish and corn starch.
15. Use Cooking or Hair Spray to Dry Nails
A fast, cheap way to dry your nail polish is to apply cooking spray or hair spray over the top coat. While this won’t prevent major damage from occurring, it strengthens the top layer and is more resistant to smudges.
16. Quickly Repair Chipped Nail Polish
Quickly cover up chips in nail polish with a coat of glitter. Choose a uniform pattern or apply glitter polish in varying strengths to achieve a faded effect.
17. Fix a Nail Polish Blunder
Were you going for a top coat but missed the mark? Instead of starting fresh, improvise by lightly rubbing nail polish remover on the smudge. Then, simply add the original color over it and you’re finished!
18. Eliminate Nail Polish Bubbles
Avoid having bubbles surface atop your perfectly painted nails by first rolling the bottle in between your hands as opposed to shaking it. Normally, it’s shaking up the contents of the bottle that results in air bubbles.
19. Restore Old Nail Polish
Do you have old bottles of nail polish that look as though they’re destined for the garbage bin? Before tossing them, apply nail lacquer thinner to the bottle to restore the polish’s viscosity to normal.
20. New Uses for Watery Polish
On the other hand, some nail polishes are designed to be thin. Instead of finding a new favorite brand, use thin nail polish for designs or watercolor effects.
Nail Art Hacks
21. Spotted Eggshell Effect with Plastic Bag
Achieve a designer look with this spotted eggshell hack. Crumple up a plastic bag and dip in nail polish before using it to create a sponge paint effect on your nails. For best results, use a color that contrasts with the base coat.
22. Nail Tape for Perfectly Straight Lines
Nail tape is a great tool to keep around, whether you want to apply it directly to your nails or use it as a stencil for designs. To achieve perfectly straight lines, add it to your nail tips before applying the tip color.
23. Painted Nails in the Sky
Mimic peaceful, fluffy clouds colorfully using this nail art technique. By layering contrasting colors over one another strategically, you can accomplish this dreamy look.
24. Nails D’Amour
With Valentine’s Day approaching, you may want to celebrate in style with a heart-themed manicure. Create hearts easily and symmetrically using a toothpick.
25. Create Gradients of Color
An interesting optical illusion is using gradients of color on your nails. Also called Ombre nails, this design is achieved by slightly blending two polish colors side by side, then using a sponge to apply the color to the nail.
26. Easy Cutout Nails
Achieve a futuristic look with these easy cutout nails. Apply stripes of nail tape to the nail before polishing, then use varying colors on each triangle before peeling tape off. You’re left with a modern manicure everyone will be asking about.
27. Flaming Hot Nail Art
Do you want your nails to reflect your personality? This fire-inspired nail design takes a little time, but is absolutely worth it. Try using different colors as a base coat for varying effects.
28. Easy Flower Design
Get in the mood for springtime with these easy floral nails. Simply make dots using a bobby pin or toothpick, then layer colors over the dots to create depth and the appearance of a flower. Add green accents to mimic leaves.
29. Simple French Tips
Get beautiful, classic french tips the easy way. Ditch the templates, stickers, and decorative tools and replace them with either a rubber band or nail tape to ensure a clean line.
30. Marble Nails
To create easy marble nails without spending hours on details, use a nail polish template to create the marbled effect, then peel off each template and place on your nails. Trim the edges and add a top coat, and you’re finished!
What are your nail care hacks? Share them with us!
Featured photo credit: Empty Space Orchestra via emptyspaceorchestra.com