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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 August 12, 2019

                        12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                        12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                        Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                        But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                        I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                        Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                        1. Nuts

                        The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                        Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                        Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                        Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                        2. Blueberries

                        Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                        When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                        3. Tomatoes

                        Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                        4. Broccoli

                        While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                        Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                        Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                        5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                        Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                        The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                        Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                        6. Soy

                        Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                        Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                        Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                        7. Dark Chocolate

                        When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                        Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                        8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                        Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                        B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                        Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                        Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                        To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                        9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                        Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                        Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                        Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                        10. Gingko Biloba

                        This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                        It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                        However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                        11. Green and Black Tea

                        Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                        Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                        Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                        12. Sage and Rosemary

                        Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                        Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                        When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                        More About Boosting Brain Power

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                        Reference

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