As the shutdown has continued for the last few months, many of us have been longing for our regular beauty treatments. We miss the hair salon, our regular massage appointments and visits to the gym. For many of us, no beauty pain has been greater than not being able to sit for a professional manicure!

As you scroll through social media, you see one meme after another making jokes about those that are in desperate need of a fill in. There are many things that one may be able to do at home for a beauty treatment but for most of us, a manicure is not one of them…until now!

We have talked to professionals and dug our “nails” into many tips from experts from all over to bring you ten tips for maintaining your nails at home during Covid-19.

Step 1: Start with clean nails!
For a great manicure at home, start by prepping your nails. Use a good nail polish remover like the national brand by Sally Hanse. It allows you to easily take off all nail paint, even the ones that are tough to remove and it also has essential nutrients to help strengthen and moisturize your nails and cuticles. Even if you don’t have any paint on, still run a cotton ball of remover over each nail to get rid of any oils or dirt that could warp your polish.

Step 2: Clip, file, annnnd buff.
First, clip nails as necessary. Then, gently file moving in one direction to get your desired shape. For thin nails,celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann says, “Hold the file flush to your nail and tilt it so you file from slightly underneath. This allows you to see exactly what you’re doing and helps protect against overfiling”. Lastly, buff the tops and sides of your nails lightly with a nail buffer. Do NOT use your emery nail file for this.

Step 3: Push your cuticles back.

Prep them with cuticle remover and make sure it’s not an oil or oil based product. You want to make sure to pay special attention to your cuticles as this is often a neglected component when doing at home manicure treatments.

Step 4: Exfoliate!

Be sure to exfoliate your hands, your wrists, and your forearms with a scrub that treats or removes dead skin. This is important because it serves as a renewal for your skin and it feels amazing!

Step 5: Moisturize your hands and cuticles.

Moisturize now to avoid smudging almost-dry nail polish later. If possible, use a luxurious feeling lotion on your hands and be sure to pay attention to the area between the fingers. To finish, swipe each nail with nail polish remover to get rid of residue.

Step 6: Apply a base coat.

Apply a good base coat to hydrate and protect nails. This also prevents chipping. World renown nail professional, Essie Weingarten, recommends waiting two full minutes between each coat, starting with the base coat.

Step 7: Apply your first coat of beautiful summer color.

Be sure to get the brush all the way down to the cuticle and into the corners of your nail for full coverage. This makes the second coat go on much more smoothly. Try not to overload the brush so that you keep the layers thin. Try striping your nail three times: once down the middle, once on each side.

Step 8: Apply your second and top coats.

Remember, after a nice full two minutes before applying additional coats. Sheer and pastel shades may require a third coat for fullest coverage. Just remember, keep it thin. Then “top it off” with a protective coat that not only adds shine but longevity to your manicure.

Step 9: Clean up any rough edges, then let your nails dry.

Clean up any mistakes or jagged edges by dipping a cotton swab in nail polish remover and wiping away nail pain from your skin and to neaten up the appearance. If you have nail polish remover pads, you can also try folding one into a triangle for more a precise clean-up. Then let your nails dry a full five minutes, at least. For faster drying, try a nail drying spray which can be found in most beauty supply stores.

Step 10: Forget steps 1 through 9!

Don’t feel like doing all the steps? Then try a nice quality press-on nail. Many nail and beauty product suppliers also make press on nails and some of them seem to be of pretty good quality. For example, “Kiss” makes a press-on nail that, according to them, is just as good as a salon manicure for much cheaper. Their tagline is “bring the salon home” and you can find different from such square to round to stiletto and colors ranging from traditional French to muted tones to shiny metallics. They can be found in local stores like CVS, Target or Walmart.

In keeping with the tone of the world around us today, one hand & nail care tip that will never go out of style is to be sure to wash your hands. Lately, we have been reminded many times to wash our hands for at least twenty seconds using soap and water and to follow-up with hand sanitizer to keep the germs away.