When you’re looking for a little “extra something” to complete your look, a fresh coat of polish for your fingers and toes can do the trick!
But if there’s no time or room in your budget for a trip to the salon, why not do it yourself at home? Here are some tips for getting pretty nails — without paying for a pricy manicure or pedicure:
Start fresh. Use a cotton ball (not a tissue) with natural nail polish remover to take off your old color. All out of nail polish remover? Hair spray can work in a pinch.
Cut back. Grab a set of nail clippers and trim back your tips, making sure they’re all at an even length. For the perfect pedicure, be sure to stick to toenail clippers, as they’re specially made for stubbornly thick nails.
File away. Smooth the edges of your fingernails with a file – then give them a quick shaping. (Square, round or in between – it’s your choice!)
Tame cuticles. Once softened, use a cuticle stick to gently press back cuticles that have crept up your nail.
Scrub and rinse. Quickly whip up your own sugar scrub to exfoliate hands and feet, leaving behind fresh, smooth skin. Be sure to wash and rinse afterwards.
Moisturize. Pamper your skin with a non-greasy moisturizer. While you’re at it, give your hands and feet a mini-massage, just like they do in the salon. (Ahhh.) Be careful not to get the lotion on your actual nails, and wipe them clean if necessary – if you don’t, you’ll have a tough time getting your polish to stick!
Polish. Now comes the fun part – pick your favorite nail polish color and apply a thin coat, using 3-4 quick strokes. Wait for the first coat to dry before applying another thin layer. You may want to use up to 3 coats.
Top it off. After your color has dried completely, cover it with a top coat to protect against chips, breaks and cracks.
The Beauty Boss is written by our staff editors Rebecca Chopin and Katie Kaleita, who work closely with the Vitacost.com beauty department experts to bring you the most relevant, up-to-date information on natural beauty and antiaging tips and trends. Have a beauty question or want to suggest a product for Vitacost.com to carry? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.