Lets face it ladies, getting ourselves glammed up for the festive season can be pricey. With hair appointments, new outfits to think about, make-up and accessories, the cost of getting ready for the festivities can quickly sky rocket. One way to squeeze more from your beauty budget is to do your own nails. Follow these top tips to get a salon-worthy manicure at home.

File To Shape

After removing traces of old nail polish with nail polish remover begin your DIY manicure by filing your nails. Avoid trendy pointed shapes which can weaken your nails, and instead opt for shorter look with slightly rounded edges to help your polish stay put for longer. And remember; always file in one direct and never back and forth. Filing in a see-sawing motion will weaken nails and encourage them to split.

Buff The Surface

Help to create a smooth canvas for your nail polish by lightly buffing your nails with a nail buffer. This will give you a smoother surface, making your polish easier to apply. Be careful not to over-buff or you risk damaging the nails. A light dusting across the surface of the nail is all you need.

Care for Cuticles

Healthy nails start with healthy cuticles. Apply a cuticle remover, which has ingredients to gently dissolve dead skin before carefully pushing them back using a manicure stick. Pushing back your cuticles shouldn't hurt nor should it require you to scrape the nails. A cuticle remover will do most of the work for you.

Clean and Condition

Apply a rich hand cream or nail oil to the cuticles and thoroughly massage in. Use a cotton bud soaked in nail polish remover to remove any excess oil or cream from the nail bed. It's important to ensure any product residue is removed or risk streaky polish.

Base and Color

Apply a ridge-filling base coat to create a perfect canvas for your polish. It'll smooth out any ridges that buffing can't remove. Wait for your base to thoroughly dry before going in with your color. Apply your colour in three strokes; one down the center of the nail and then one either side. Apply the polish a little away from the base of the cuticle as your polish will spread anyway. After the first coat has completely dried, repeat the process with a second coat. Apply a matte or glossy top coat to finish and seal in your color.

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