DIY lovely Manicure

Whether you're a career girl, busy mom or fashion design student, chances are your are days full throttle, leaving little chance sometimes to make room for the little yet big things like a fresh and pretty manicure.  Well, here are some key steps that can help you put prettiness at your fingertips while saving you time and money.  Let's take a peek at the five fast fixes:

1.  Shorten & Smooth ~ Before you do anything else you must take a moment to make sure that your nails are in tip top shape literally and figuratively.  When going shorter, keep frays at bay by using a nail clipper to trim away excess length.  Smooth off any rough or misshaped edges with a fine finished nail file, moving gently in one set direction.

2. Get Sticky ~ To ensure that the pretty polish you'll be sporting stays put, you need to anchor it to the nail bed via a super strong base coat.  Doing so adds life to your mani, helping it to last through typing, texting and using your nails as tools {which we all know we should never do yet somehow we still can't completely avoid}.  

3. Choose Hues ~ Now for the fun part, choose a polish hue that is in season, complementary to your wardrobe and flattering to your skincare.  Another point to consider...deeper, richer tones tend to lengthen and elongate the appearance of the fingers and hands while brighter, punchier colors wakeup darker skin tone colors.  Use your polish color choices to enhance appearances in the same way you do so with wardrobe colors.

4. High Shine Sealer ~ After taking your nails to the point where they look amazing, be sure to keep them shiny and bright by sealing in the color with a good top coat.  Those that are touted as no-chip, long-lasting or color extending are preferred over quick drying formulas as the latter can leave a dull finish rather than a patent quality high-shine.

5. Soften & Hydrate ~ So you've shortened and smoothed, prepped and painted and gave your manicure a dazzling gleam.  Now you'll want to pamper your hands and nails to ensure that your skin is soft and perfectly hydrated.  Many hand and nail products on the market can help you do just that.  Look for those that contain ingredients whose properties exfoliate dry patches, attract and hold water in the epidermis and have anti-aging properties.  These most commonly include alpha-hydroxy acids, lactic acid and retinol.  Want to really give these powerhouses a hand?  Slather them on before bedtime each night and slip on a pair of soft cotton gloves to ensure your skin soaks up the complete benefits.  Don't forget to add SPF for daytime to protect your hands just like you do your face.

Here are some of my favorite DIY nail product picks:

Here's to a wonderful Wednesday of DIY beauty.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!