Mastering the at-home manicure can be done with the right tips, but what happens when you don’t have time to visit your salon? That's when you would opt for the ‘no-mani' manicure. What is this? Your saving grace when you need to fix your chipped or bare nails. Here’s how to beautify them without taking on the full manicure process.
HYDRATE YOUR HANDS
The first step of the ‘no-mani’ is to intensly hydrate your hands by soaking them in a small bowl filled with warm whole milk. The lactic acid in the milk helps soften the skin and remove dead skin cells. You can also use an ultra-hydrating lotion such as ELEMIS Revitalise-Me Hand & Body Lotion which softens and moisturizes without a mess.
RESPECT THE CUTICLE
It seems like cutting your cuticles is an intrinsic rule of nail care that was mysteriously passed down from generation to generation of manicure gurus. However, snipping your cuticles is actually pretty bad for your nails and overall health. Those little pieces of skin are there for a reason.
"It's a health risk because you're basically giving yourself open cuts on your fingers, which have a huge potential for getting infected," said nail artist Simcha Whitehill, also known as Miss Pop, in an interview with Popsugar.
Furthermore, cutting your cuticles can cause them to grow back even more scraggly. Instead, gently push back cuticles with an orange stick after soaking or moisturizing hands. Alternatively, you could also just leave your cuticles as is.
FILE IN ONE DIRECTION
The next step of the ‘no-mani’ mani is filing your nails, but chances are, you're probably committing another nail no-no that's making your digits look a little worse for wear. You should only file your nails in one direction, not side-to-side because the back-and-forth motion weakens nails and can cause them to split or flake. Also, the shape of your nails affects their overall health. Try filing your nails into squares with rounded corners, since this shape is more crack-resistant.
BUFF TO BEAUTY
The most important step of the ‘no-mani’ mani is the buffing stage. This gives nails their shine and luster, without having to use polish. Vogue advised investing in a four-sided block buffer to do the job. The buffing levels start out rough to prep nails and then deliver a smooth finish. Follow the steps from 1-4, but do not buff with the most abrasive side more than once a week.
SEAL WITH MOISTURE
After you've buffed nails, massage a nutrient-filled cuticle cream or oil into each nail. Our favorite for this step – ELEMIS Frangipani Monoi Body Oil. This will add a final boost of shine and vitality to your ‘no-mani’ mani along with a nice kick of antioxidants.
PROTECT YOUR NAILS
While the ‘no-mani’ mani lasts longer than a regular manicure, you should still take preventative measures to keep your hands in tip-top shape. Wear gloves when you do the dishes and wash hands with lukewarm, not hot water, immediately following with lotion. Slathering on moisturizer and then sleeping with gloves on a few nights a week will help keep your hands glamorous and ready for a night out.