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Hacks for a Professional Looking Manicure at Home

Hacks for a Professional Looking Manicure at Home

Believe it or not, the first thing a person notices when you shake hands are your fingernails. First impressions matter, especially if you happen to be the one who rules the boardroom. Yellowed nails, chipped varnish, and jagged edges show a lack of self-esteem. Fingernails accentuate the beauty of your fingers; they speak volumes about your personality. Instead of spending a lot of money at the salon, you can pamper them at home and get great results.

Here are some simple tips to guide you through a professional-looking manicure at home. To get a professional manicure at home, you need to stock up on these essentials:

  • Acetone-free nail polish remover
  • Cotton swabs or balls
  • Cuticle trimmer
  • Nail buffer
  • Nail trimmers
  • Nail file
  • Cuticle or hand cream, and cuticle oil
  • Nail polish
  • Base coat
  • Top coat

manicure set

    Once you have all the essentials tools, follow the instructions below to get beautiful nails at home, for less than a trip to the salon:

    1. Set up your workspace

    Nail varnishes have a tendency to spoil surfaces, so you must be careful! Never do a manicure near your laptop. Protect the surface where you are planning to do the manicure with scrap paper.

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    workspace set

      2. Remove nail varnish

      Use an acetone-free nail varnish. Acetone helps to remove the nail paint easier, but it is really harmful.

      Remove nail varnish

        3. Cut or file nails

        Use nail clippers to trim your nails, but don’t make them too short. The white tip must show. Use a nail file to get a clean shape and to smooth any rough edges left by the clippers. Don’t be aggressive with your nail file as this can weaken your nails. The ideal nail shape should be “squoval” or u-shape. Cut off any hangnails.

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        Nail FIle

          4. Buff your nails

          After giving shape to your nails, it’s time to polish them a bit. You can use a white block, stick, or a pad nail buffer. Use a soft buffer to smooth out the ridges on the nail.

          nail buffing

            5. Soak your fingers

            Soaking your nails in warm water and soap will remove all dead skin cells, fine residue particles and soften the cuticles. After dipping your hand, remove any excess dirt that settles under your nail bed. If you have dry skin and delicate nails, rinse them, rather than soaking them in hot water. It is advisable that you dip your hand first in lemon juice to remove the yellow stains on your nails and then soak your fingers in hot water. There are great ways to strengthen your nails by just soaking.

            soaking fingers

              6. Pamper your cuticles

              Using a sterile cuticle pusher, or a small binder clip without sharp edges, gently push back the cuticles. Make sure not to bruise your cuticles because that can cause infection. Apply the cuticle cream. Remove excess cream with a paper towel in the direction you pushed the cuticle. You can also massage your cuticles with a good cuticle oil, or olive oil, to allow blood circulation to make your nails look healthy.

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              cuticle care

                7. Apply a base coat

                If you want to use a nail varnish, start with applying a clear base coat or nail hardener. Let the base coat or primer dry completely. A good base coat will help remove all unevenness of your nails and make your nail varnish last longer. It also prevents your nail from staining.

                apply-basecoat

                  8. Apply nail polish

                  Select your favourite colour and get started. Before opening it, roll the bottle between your hands for 10 seconds. The first coat should be thin. Start by painting a vertical stripe down the center of your nail and repeat on either side. Paint to the edge, but keep a small gap at the side to avoid painting on your skin.

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                  apply nail polish

                    Place the brush at an angle and press gently so that the bristles spread and the colour glides smoothly on the nails. Use a touch-up pen to remove any paint on skin. Once you are a pro at applying nail polish, you can do nail art at home!

                    9. Apply top coat

                    Add a bit of shine to your newly-painted nails. A top coat ensures a hard and scratch-free top layer.

                    applying top coat

                      10. Finish off with lotion

                      This is best done after applying nail varnish. If you have dry skin, use an intensive lotion and keep it on for 30 minutes or longer to allow for absorption. If you’re using the cream before hitting the bed, wear simple cotton gloves and let the lotion work overnight.

                      hand cream

                        Doing a manicure is a great way to de-stress. Just play some music, light some scented candles and do your own manicure to get those enviable talons.

                        Featured photo credit: Manicure process in beauty salon close up/Africa Studio via shutterstock.com

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                        Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                        We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                        We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                        So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                        Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                        What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                        Boundaries are limits

                        —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                        Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                        Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                        Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                        Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                        How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                        Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                        1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                        Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                        You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                        To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                        You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                        • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                        • When do you feel disrespected?
                        • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                        • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                        • When do you want to be alone?
                        • How much space do you need?

                        You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                        2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                        Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                        Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                        3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                        Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                        That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                        Sample language:

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                        • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                        • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                        • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                        • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                        • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                        • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                        • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                        Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                        4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                        Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                        Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                        Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                        We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                        It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                        It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                        Final Thoughts

                        Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                        Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                        Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                        The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                        Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                        Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                        They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                        Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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