How to: Nail a DIY manicure

ELIZA ASHE
Last updated 12:05 28/11/2012

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It's time to put your salon appointments on the backburner and spend your money where it matters... on summer's great new nail polish shades so you can do your nails at home.

Here's an easy step-by-step guide to getting your nails into top gear for the party season.

STEP 1: SHAPE UP
Start by filing the nails to buff away at any discolouration and ridges to create an even plate for the polish. Although long nails are a runway staple, in reality the shorter the tips, the stronger the nails, which really means less chipping.

STEP 2: BASE NOTES
 For a quick treatment apply a vitamin-E based cuticle oil to the nails and leave it to soak for two minutes before removing. Oil works wonders at softening dry skin but it's essential you remove the oil completely before applying nail polish to prevent the lacquer from bubbling. Sponging a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover across each nail bed will do the trick.

STEP 3: UNDER COVER
The humble base coat is the first step in any professional paint job and it's also the most underrated. Prepping the nails with a clear lacquer helps to give the polish that something extra to bind to, plus it creates a barrier to stop the polish from staining the nail bed.

STEP 4: PAINT AWAY
For lasting colour, always apply two coats of nail polish. You should be able to paint the nail in three even stokes, one on each side and one in the middle.

- Daily Life

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