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Master the Perfect Manicure
by Linda Buttle

We take you step-by-step to beautiful nails
with our easy to follow manicure master-class

  • Start by soaking your fingertips in a small bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes to soften the cuticles.
  • Massage a specialist conditioning cream into the cuticles and gently push them back by applying a little pressure. Professional manicurists often cut long cuticles but never attempt this yourself!
  • Apply a nourishing nail oil such as almond oil to moisturise the nail.
  • Get your nails in shape with the aid of a fine emery board. Try filing in a single direction to gently smooth away any rough edges and achieve a slightly rounded effect.
  • Professional nail technicians always apply a protective base coat before using a coloured polish to help prevent staining the nail and to give a smooth surface to apply your chosen colour to. A base coat can also act as a treatment - look for one with strengthening or moisturising properties.
  • To paint your nails, lay your hand on a flat surface such as a table. Apply colour to the centre of the nail and then paint each side keeping away from the cuticle.
  • Keep a correction pen handy to remove any excess polish, or simply dip a cotton bud in some nail varnish remover and use that instead.
  • You'll need to apply at least two coats of nail colour. Don't worry if the first coat looks streaky. The second coat will remedy this.
  • Finally, add a single layer of clear top coat to prevent your colour chipping and give a long lasting finish.
  • Now all you have to do is be patient! You don't want your nails to smudge so take time to relax in front of the television or read a good book while your nails have a chance to dry properly.

Linda Buttle is a freelance journalist specialising in beauty, health and fitness for both magazines and websites. She is currently available for commissions.
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