How to give yourself the perfect spring manicure

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spring manicure

Spring is finally here, people! And to complement this season’s fashion-forward outfits, we suggest accessorizing with a fabulously sunny set of digits. Store those dark and gloomy fall nail polishes in the cupboard for later in the year, and go for bright and cheery lacquers in shades of mint green, sun-bleached yellow, coral, and nude.

Don’t think you can perfect the at-home mani? Sure you can! Giving yourself a manicure isn’t as hard as you may think, and it will save you, big time, in the wallet department! We sat down with CND Education Ambassador Denise Arnold to ask her how we can achieve the perfect spring manicure at home.

STEP 1

Shape and smooth the extension edge of the nail with a nail file. Denise Arnold shares that it’s perfectly acceptable to file your nail back and forth, as long as you don’t use too course of a grit. She recommends we look for a file with a 240 or higher grit. A 180 or less grit is very likely going to shred your nail. (Our pick: Sparitual 240/320 GRIT ECO File; $7.90.)

STEP 2

Soak your nails in warm, soapy water for five minutes to soften those cuticles. If needed, apply a cuticle removing product (Our pick: Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. $7.99), then using a cuticle pusher, gently push your cuticles back. Wash your hands.

Arnold says that a great time to push back your cuticles is right after a shower. And she recommends using CND Cuticle Eraser ($13.20) daily to prevent cuticle build-up.

STEP 3

Check for hangnails and only clip if they are waving at you. Arnold begs us not to trim healthy cuticles. “If you cut living tissue, you’re creating scarred tissue that will grow back thicker, faster and harder.”

STEP 4

Eliminate surface oil and debris from the nail plate by wiping each nail with a cleanser and a lint-free pad. Note: Nail polish remover has oil in it which will effect polish adhesion. (Our pick CND ScrubFresh; $18).

STEP 5

Apply a thin layer of basecoat and wait 2-3 minutes. “The basecoat acts as the anchor with adhesion promoters, and it prevents staining from your heavily pigmented colours,” says Arnold. (Our pick: Essie First Base; $12)

STEP 6

Apply two thin coats of polish, waiting 2-3 minutes between each coat. Use three strokes for each nail – either side of the nail and then capping the edge of the nail. “If you cap the nail, your manicure will last longer,” shares Arnold. (Our picks: Ceramic Glaze in I’m on Island Time; $10.99, Seche in May Be Modest; $9.99, and CND’s Vinylux in Electric Orange; $12. Note: Vinylux Weekly Polish does not require a basecoat. Use the Vinylux Weekly top coat for chip-free nails for at least a week).

STEP 7

Finish off with a topcoat to protect the nail polish and provides a durable, high gloss shine. (Our pick: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat; $9.) Note: your nails won’t be dish-washing dry for about two hours, so be careful!

Feature image: CND

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Lesley Mirza works as an editor for lipstickpowdernpaint.com and writer for a variety of publications, covering travel, beauty, spas, food/drink, and culture. When she's not hopping on a plane or sipping a cocktail, she can be found walking her two pugs on Kits Beach in Vancouver, B.C. Follow Lesley on Twitter and Instagram.
@lesleyemirza

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