At Home Mini-Mani

When I want my nails to look their best, I do an at home mini manicure.This keeps my nails strong and healthy, while looking well groomed.

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I start off by cutting and filing my nails. You can use either clippers or scissors to cut your nails, whatever you feel more comfortable with. I am currently using clippers from the brand Ms Manicure. When my nails have been cut to the desired length I file them into shape.

There are a range of shapes you can achieve (especially if you have long nails) including square, oval or even cat claw. I tend to go for a ‘squoval’ shape (a combo of square and oval!) I have recently started using the S-File by Stylfile, an ‘S’ shaped nail file and buffer that curves naturally around the edge of your nail. This was designed by previous ‘The Apprentice’ winner and inventor Tom Pellereau.

I then follow up with a base coat. I always use a base coat, especially when using brightly coloured or dark nail varnishes. Not only does it stop your nails getting stained, but it also makes your manicure last longer. My favourites at the moment are Sally Hansen Double Duty (£4.99) and Maybelline’s Superstay Forever Strong in Crystal Clear (£4.49). These two are great as the double up as a base coat and top coat.

Now time for colour, I always apply at least two layers of my nail polish to get an opaque, even finish. You may be able to get away with applying one coat of a light, shimmery polish, but you want to avoid that wishy-washy look. My favourite nail polish ranges of the moment are Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine, Maybelline Superstay Forever Strong and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. They each have a good selection of colours available and last around a week on my nails without any major chipping. They also don’t break the bank!

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Try not to apply each layer too thickly, its best using thin layers of polish and build up the colour. Let each coat dry for a couple of minutes before applying the next, as this will mean they are less likely to smudge. Keep a cotton bud dipped in nail varnish remover to hand if you tend to be a little clumsy with your polish. This can be used to clean up any mistakes or polish that is on the skin around your nail.

When I’m happy with the way my nails look, I apply a top coat followed by Essence’s Express Dry Nail Oil. This has been a life saver when it comes to my nails. I always used to find that even hours after I thought my nails had dried I would end up having some kind of imprint or dent in my polish. However, this dries and sets your nails super quickly.

Do you have any nail polish recommendations?