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Top 15 tricks for a perfect manicure at home

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There's nothing like a great manicure to leave you feeling pampered, but sometimes doing your nails at home can be time-consuming. However, there are easy tricks you can do not only to save time and money, but also to achieve a glossy look without having to go to the salon.

We look at the top 15 tips and tricks for a perfect manicure at home.

Coat your cuticles with Vaseline to protect the skin 

Dry nails in iced water

If you haven’t got the patience to wait for your nails to dry, leave them for thirty seconds then dip them in a bowl of iced water – this will dry nails in seconds.

Make a homemade dotter

You can easily create your own nail patterns by sticking a pin into a pencil eraser. Dip the head into your nail varnish and dot away.

Coat your cuticles with Vaseline

This will protect the skin around your cuticles from erroneous polish strokes. Just swipe away with a cotton bud for a mess free manicure.

Use clear plasters for French tips

Cut a plaster in half then stick it to your nail, leaving a small gap on your tip. Then coat your tip colour and use the plaster as a safety net for any shaky hand slip-ups.

Use a white base for bright colours

Painting your nails white before applying your colour can really made them pop. This works especially well with sheer polishes like neon colours.

nail art© Photo: iStock

Create a homemade dotting tool with a pin and pencil eraser

Match colours to your skin tone

Nude shades are still huge but make sure you match the right colour to your skin tone. Fair ladies should go for sheer pinks and creamy blushes whilst olive tone lovelies should stick to soft peaches.

Use toothpaste to get rid of stains

If you have a stubborn deep red stain left after your manicure, try scrubbing them with an a nailbrush and toothpaste.

Prep for glitter nail polish removal

Try using craft glue as a base coat before applying glitter polish. When you’re ready change your look, the polish will peel easily off - no more hours of torn cotton pads!

Use a pencil to place gems

If you’re getting creative with nail art, try placing adhesive gems with a pencil. Tweezers usually send them flying but using the lead of a pencil will easily pick them up.

Roll polish bottles instead of shaking them

Shaking nail varnish can cause tiny air bubbles, which will only rise once you’ve painted your nail. Try rolling it between the palms of your hand instead to mix the colour.

nails© Photo: iStock

Create new nail colours with eyeshadow and clear polish

Use make-up sponges for nail art

Make up sponges can be used to created ombre, gradient or spider web nails.

Create nail varnish with eye shadow

If you’ve got a broken eye shadow, don’t despair. Mix the pigments together with some clear nail varnish to create a brand new nail colour.

Clean nails with distilled vinegar

Before applying your polish, clean your nails with a cotton bud soaked in a little distilled vinegar. The clean surface will help your manicure last.

Apply in multiple thin coats

To get your polish to dry faster, apply three thin coats as opposed to one or two thick layers.

Use a slanted eye shadow brush to clean up

If you’ve had some slip-ups, dip a slanted eye shadow brush into some nail polish remover for easy manoeuvring.

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