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There are lots of beauty treatments out there, plenty of which we can confidently undertake ourselves at home – for example, the humble manicure. However, often the treatments we do ourselves don’t look as good as when we get them done professionally ? do they? No, we thought not!

Sometimes though, we just don’t have time for a nail appointment, so we have to do a speedy file and polish ourselves. So, here are Born’s top tips on how to do a pro paint job at home.

Step One: Prep Your Nails
It?s not as easy as simply removing the old polish we?re afraid. This is the step which a lot of people get wrong, so take note! Preparation is the key to nail victory; start off by using a cotton pad drenched in nail polish remover on your nails, not only will this remove any existing polish, it will also help to remove oil and debris from the nail plate as well. Don’t try to copy your manicurist by cutting your cuticles yourself, as this can lead to disaster. Instead, use a cuticle softener, such as the OPI Avoplex Exfoliating Nail Softener, which will remove any dead skin that is lying on the cell plate.

Next comes filing. Do this from left to centre and right to centre (instead of in a see-sawing motion like we all tend to do!) and hold the file at a 45-degree angle. One top tip we have been told is to get a flattering nail shape for your finger, try and mirror the shape of your cuticle. To finish off filing, file the tip of your nail away from you at a 45-degree angle to seal the edges.

Then comes buffering. This helps to even out the nail surface and gives a good surface for your varnish to cling too, helping it to last longer. Then get your polish remover out again and re-wipe your nail to get rid of any dust or debris and any last traces of oil.

It’s All About the Base
The worst thing you can do is to forget to put a base coat on. Putting a base coat on not only stops your chosen colour from staining your nails, but it also helps your nail polish to last longer – which is what we all want. One of our favourites is Orly’s Bonder, which is rubberised and has been described as being like double sided sticky tape for nail! It creates a really good barrier between the nail polish and the nail ? you won?t look back once you?ve tried it. Once you have painted your base coat on, rest your hands and wait two minutes for it to dry.

Now, let?s talk about drying technique! We don?t know about you, but we have tried everything – the shake, the blow, the waggle. However, the pro?s tell us the best thing to do is just sit! No, really, it?s true! Anything else will just give them an uneven finish.

Colour Up
Now comes the time to paint on the colour you want. You’ve done all of the prep, so now it?s time for the fun bit! Take your chosen colour and paint it on as evenly as possible – using three strokes. One down the centre and then one down each side of the nail. Be careful not to overload your brush with polish, instead wipe the excess polish off on the neck of the bottle first. This spring is all about bright colours and nudes with a twist, so why not try Tom Ford’s Mink Brule – nude with a hint of pink. Lovely.

Don’t worry if you have made any mistakes whilst painting your colour on. Just grab a small brush (not a cotton bud) and dip it in your nail polish remover and tidy up any mistakes, by wiping the brush on a piece of tissue in between each dip. This is much easier and more effective than trying to use a cotton bud, we promise.

Seal the Deal
Nearly there, but you are not quite done yet. Once your polish has had a chance to dry – no waggling remember – you should apply a top coat. This will help to give your nails a salon finish look, and will lengthen the life of your manicure. One of our favourite top coats is Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Anti-Chip Top Coat – which does what it says in the title. Try and put the top coat on with as little pressure as possible, so that you don?t drag the polish underneath. Although, the thicker the coat the better, as this will give your nails durability ? and always remember to seal along the tip of each nail too, for further protection against chips.

Et voil? – perfect nails!

You can even watch our video on nails by our very own Sam Marshall, Beauty Guru. http://thebeautyguru.me/

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