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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 December 2, 2019

                        10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                        10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                        Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

                        In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

                        These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

                        1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

                        Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

                        But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

                        Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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                        2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

                        You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

                        The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

                        3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

                        If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

                        Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

                        If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

                        4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

                        Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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                        To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

                        In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

                        5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

                        We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

                        If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

                        Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

                        “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

                        6. Give for the Joy of Giving

                        When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

                        One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

                        So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

                        7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

                        Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

                        Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                        8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

                        When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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                        So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

                        9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

                        Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

                        It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

                        It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

                        10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

                        There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

                        But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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                        Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

                        More About Living a Fulfilling Life

                        Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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