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Salon manicures can be expensive and time-consuming, but you don’t have to go to a salon to achieve professional manicure results. Home manicures are a great alternative, as long as you have the right tools and use the right techniques. Here are five tips for the perfect manicure.

Tools

Using the wrong tools can damage your nails and lead to infection. Coarse and metal nail files can cause your nails to split; choose a smooth emery board or crystal file for gentle filing. It’s also important to replace your emery boards and clean other tools, such as nail scissors or clippers, on a regular basis, as bacteria under your nails is easily transferred to your manicure tools.

Preparation

To prepare your hands and nails, remove any old nail polish and soak your hands for five minutes in warm soapy water. Use a soft nail brush to clean under the nails, then gently massage your fingertips and hands to increase blood flow and soften the skin. Use a smooth pumice stone or skin file to remove any calluses and patches of hard skin.

Cuticles

Cuticles help to protect your nails and prevent infection. Clipping cuticles or using hard tools to push them back can cause ridges along your nails and damage the nail bed. Massage olive oil or moisturizer into your cuticles to help soften them, then gently push each cuticle back using a soft implement, such as a pencil eraser. Don’t push your cuticles all the way back, as this leaves your nail open to infection.

Nails

When filing your nails, use smooth strokes and a side-to-side motion across the top of your nail. Avoid filing the sides, as this can weaken your nails. Once your nails are the right length and shape, smooth out any rough edges with a fine emery board and use a nail buffer to give your nails a professional finish.

Nail Polish

If you are using a dark nail polish, you need to apply a base coat first, as this will help prevent staining. If your nails are uneven, ridged or damaged, choose a nail polish with a metallic finish, as it will help to disguise nail problems. Apply nail polish in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next one. Seal your nail polish by applying a top coat to prevent chipping and make your manicure last longer.

Home manicures are much cheaper than going to a salon, and the results can be just as good. Regular manicures can also help to protect your nails and prevent infection. Using the right tools is the key to a professional-looking manicure.

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Here’s How To Deal With Your Oily Summer Skin

Even if you don’t have oily skin year-round, summertime can bring out the grease monster in all of us. In an ideal world, you could stay in the A.C. all day and night, but when you do have to venture into the heat, use these tips and tricks to keep the shine at bay.

Use an acne cleanser

Switching to an acne-controlling cleanser in the summer helps minimize oil production. Even if pimples aren’t your problem, a face wash with salicylic acid can help your oily summer skin.

Use sunblock to help control oil

Sunscreen is important for preventing skin damage and health problems, of course, but did you know it also controls oil production? Use an oil-free, mineral-based sunscreen in place of moisturizer in the morning.

Go (more) bare

It’s important to lighten up your skin care and makeup routine in the summer. Whatever you usually use to moisturize your face at night, go a step lighter – no creams, please!

If you usually wear a full face of makeup, try a simple tinted moisturizer instead of foundation. Mineral foundation can also help matte-ify the skin.

Blot it all away

Use blotting papers with translucent powder for best results. Ideally, you want papers that absorb oil without stripping too much moisture from your skin.

Scrub, scrub, scrub

Exfoliate once a week to fully cleanse your pores. Clean pores produce less oil. Voila!

Use a gentle scrub, a DIY scrub like sugar, or a skin cleansing brush like the Clarisonic.

However, be careful not to over-exfoliate! Stripping your skin of all moisture just encourages your skin to produce more oil to make up for the loss. Don’t be too rough on your skin, and don’t exfoliate or wash too often. Once a week is enough.

Avoid certain foods

Sometimes folk remedies are actually legit. Certain foods and drinks cause you to sweat more, like hard liquor and spicy foods. Go easy on the cocktails, and avoid super-hot foods. Instead, opt for foods that are high in vitamin A, like carrots or spinach. These foods actually help slow oil production.

Embrace the shine

Let’s face it – a little bit of summer shine is inevitable during this time of year. Luckily, shine is in right now. It’s not shiny, it’s “dewy”! When all your tricks are failing you and you’re feeling oily, try to embrace it rather than criticize yourself for something that’s totally natural.


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