A Classic Manicure

One thing I have always coveted are long, natural and elegant nails, but I had never been careful enough to avoid suffering breaks which kept them short. Recently, my friend Gaby shared a YouTube video from SimplyNailogical with me that opened my eyes to how to end my short nail woes. It’s been about about two months of diligently following my new nail care routine, and while I’ve got a long ways to go in terms of what length I want my nails to be, I’m pretty excited that my nails are long enough for some simple nail art!

This manicure was inspired by Dita Von Teese’s iconic classic manicure, a red and white half-moon. For my manicure, I used:

  • Jojoba Oil (Trader Joes)
  • An eye shadow brush
  • A cheap and thin, angled make-up brush
  • A base coat (Models Own)
  • A white nail polish (Models Own, in White Light)
  • A red nail polish (Models Own, in Red Lustre)
  • A top coat (Models Own, Hypergel Top Coat)
  • Notebook reinforcers (any office supply store)
  • Tweezers, to assist in peeling off reinforcement stickers

To start, I had to remove the previous week’s manicure first. It was also a half-moon manicure, but I had used cool, neutral colors. What I love about this nail art design is that it’s so versatile. You can use any combination of colors! The first step for removing my nail polish is to treat my cuticles, and the surrounding skin, with Jojoba oil. Since I use 100% acetone nail polish remover, I use the Jojoba oil as a barrier to protect my skin from getting too dry.

 

 

 

 

After applying the Jojoba oil with a spare eye shadow brush I only use for applying oil to my nails (it’s a daily task for me!), I take a large cotton pad soaked in acetone and patiently remove my current manicure.

 

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Press for 30 sec. and then rub nail polish off. Picture by Sarah Veyna.

 

Next, I apply more oil! Despite the layer of Jojoba oil I slather on before using acetone, my skin still ends up looking and feeling a little dry. I usually reapply oil, let it sink in for a couple of minutes and then wash my hands with some mild soap. Normally, I would take some time to file and reshape my nails between applying oil and washing my hands, but since I ultimately want my nails to take on a stiletto shape I skipped that step this week until I see some more nail growth. I also don’t push back or trim my cuticles since they don’t naturally “grow” much.

 

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Yup! I have yellow-stained nails. This is normal when you use nail polish all the time.

Once my nails and cuticles are moisturized and clean, I apply my base coat and let dry before applying my first coat of white nail polish. Letting each coat fully dry in between, I added two more coats of the white nail polish to achieve a completely opaque look. I don’t mind using several coats of nail polish because it just makes my nails a little bit thicker (and more break-resistant), but if this bothers you try looking for white nail polish that gives you a streak-free application with just one coat. Once my white nail base is done, I apply a top coat in order to protect the white base color from peeling off when I apply the paper reinforcements. I also take this chance to clean up any stray nail polish as best I can with a cheap angled make up brush dipped in acetone.

 

 

 

 

When my topcoat is dry, I apply the paper reinforcements to my nails to create a stencil for my “half moon”. One tip is to cut into the stickers, so that the sticker can conform to the contour of your nail and finger (as shown below).

 

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For the next steps, you’ll have to go nail by nail. I take my red nail polish, and paint the area above the reinforcement stickers. It doesn’t really matter if the nail polish goes a little over the sticker, so long as you don’t accidentally paint any of the exposed nail below. After painting each nail, I use a pair of tweezers to immediately peel off the sticker. The reason for this is that the sticker doesn’t peel off as easily if the nail polish dries, and it won’t create a clean line. Once I’ve finished with all my nails, I finish off with a top coat!

 

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The final result

 

Some Notes:

  • To maintain my manicure for at least a week, I touch up using a topcoat once or twice in the week.
  • Currently, I am using a lot of Models Own nail polishes, but I’m looking to expand my collection! Any recommendations are welcome.
  • For a more “glam” look, use a pearly white base.

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