Do-it-yourself manicure: mistakes to avoid


Trusting your hands to professionals is a good thing. Many women do just that: they regularly visit manicurists, from where they leave with more or less well-treated nails, their natural or extended ones.

Others, for various reasons, prefer to do everything on their own. Sometimes the reason for this desire lies in distrust of the professional level of the nail service master and his own sad experience. And sometimes it’s just a habit: she always did her own manicure, and there is simply no reason to abandon this tradition. Even if the result leaves much to be desired. And the reason for not the best result can be very common mistakes that many people make in “home” manicure.

MedAboutMe talks about the 9 most common mistakes.

Why at home, why with your own hands?

Why not? If a woman does not build up her nails, but just wants to walk with well-groomed own nails, if she has the opportunity to purchase high-quality manicure tools and care products, she may well perform all the necessary procedures on her own. At first, there may be difficulties with the processing of the leading hand, but over time this problem is solved.

For some, a manicure is a familiar weekly ritual that has become part of the daily routine. Others do not have time to visit the master, or have negative impressions of the services of the «nail service». And with the current restrictions due to the pandemic, many simply avoid going to public places, including nail salons.

So they learn to do everything with their own hands. Sometimes making mistakes that can both worsen the condition of the nails and cause disappointment with the result. But all this can be avoided.

Home manicure mistakes

Trim nails with scissors or clippers

Trim nails with scissors or clippers

So many people do this: first they cut their nails, and then they start processing the edge with a nail file. As a result, nails of different lengths and shapes are often obtained.

With regular manicure, filing is enough. And if there is a need to significantly shorten the nails, then you need to cut it by no more than half the excess length, and then bring it “to mind” with a nail file.

File the edges of the nail in the direction «back and forth»

So it’s only good to cut firewood, just because this technique is undesirable when processing nails. When moving the file back and forth, micro-damages appear on the nail plate: cracks and breaks. Over time, they can increase, turning into quite solid cracks and fractures.

How to be?

Simcha Whitehill, manicurist

The movement of the nail file should occur in one direction. Yes, it slows down the process, but it keeps your nails smooth and strong. Be purposeful in your actions, in every movement. After all, this is all for the beauty and health of your hands and nails.

Trim the cuticle

Trim the cuticle

You don’t have to do this. The slightest damage to the skin opens the gate for infection and inflammation, and it is very difficult not to cut yourself when cutting the cuticle. There are many less traumatic ways to care: the cuticle can be gently pushed back with an orange stick after a shower, with or without special cuticle removers.

Alexandra McCormick, manicurist

When you cut off the “extra” cuticle, its edge begins to exfoliate and peel off, which does not add beauty at all. And yes, it will grow faster after that. It is enough just to push it away after a bath or shower.

Skip the base coat

The nail plate contains fatty substances. Their number increases if you use special oils in your care to strengthen nails. This is really useful, but fatty traces on the surface of the nail do not allow the varnish to “stick” well, the coating is fragile and quickly peels off.

Degreasing nails before coating can lead to overdrying and destruction of the nail plate, so it is also not recommended to abuse this technique.

The problem can be solved by applying a layer of a special base coat, a kind of primer, the use of which allows not only not to dry out the nails, but also to increase the durability of the varnish coating for several days. The «base» under the layers of varnish «seals» the nail and fatty substances in its structure. It is better to spend a few minutes more on the procedure, and get a durable, beautiful layer of varnish.

Abuse quick-drying products

There are quick-drying nail polishes and sprays that speed up the drying of the decorative coating. They are easy to use, but far from harmless: by accelerating the drying of the varnish layer, they also cause overdrying of the nail plate. Over time, the nails begin to crack, peel and break. These should not be used regularly.

Do not apply polish on the edge of the nail

Do not apply polish on the edge of the nail

This little secret is known to professionals. After applying the final layer of varnish, you need to run the tip of the brush along the very edge of the nail, along its cut. This will help «seal» the edges of the coating and keep it from chipping and peeling.

Forgetting to wash and disinfect tools

All tools used in manicure, from scissors to nail files and wooden sticks, should be washed regularly with soap and disinfectant, and then allowed to dry thoroughly. And it is highly desirable that no one except you use your tools. A manicure set is like a toothbrush, a personal hygiene item that is not shared.

Dry your nails with a UV lamp

You probably know that an excess of ultraviolet radiation is harmful to the skin. UV rays not only accelerate its aging, but also increase the risk of cancer. This applies to hands to the fullest. Therefore, it is better not to use ultraviolet nail lamps or, when using such a lamp, protect the skin with an SPF cream or wear special gloves.

Shake polish before applying

Shake polish before applying

A bottle of varnish is not a cocktail shaker, you don’t need to shake it. Otherwise, a lot of small bubbles will appear in the varnish, which will interfere with the application of the varnish layer, forming coating defects. For mixing, it is enough to roll the bottle between the palms — as sausages are rolled out of dough or plasticine.

Simcha Whitehill, manicurist

There are two more secrets.

Never apply nail polish while in a damp hot room. Too high air temperature and humidity will prevent the varnish from drying properly, the layer will turn out to be fragile and short-lived. For applying varnish, a dry and cool room is more suitable. I do not advise painting your nails even during heavy rain, it can really worsen the result.

For the same reason, do not wash dishes or take a hot bath/shower for at least 6 hours after applying polish if you want the finish to last. And this is the second secret.

Evaluation of structural damage and pH of nail plates of hands after applying different methods of decorating / Batory M., Namieciński P., Rotsztejn H. // Int J Dermatol. 2019

Gel manicures and ultraviolet A light: A call for patient education / Wang JV, Korta DZ, Zachary CB // Dermatol Online J. 2018


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