Prep like a pro
Buff your base
Lightly buff the tops and sides of the nails with a buffer, but don’t overdo it because if they’re too smooth, the polish won’t stick to the nail properly. Buffing them too thinly can weaken them, making them prone to bending.
Healthy cuticles help your manicure last longer and look tidier. Don’t cut them because they act as a barrier to protect your body from infection. Instead, soften them with Superdrug’s Conditioning Cuticle Cream with Vitamin E (£2.99). Massage into the cuticle then gently ease it back with a wooden cuticle stick.
File and shape
Round or oval nail shapes are a strong and universally flattering choice. Always file your nails in one direction only and opt for a crystal glass nail file, which is more durable than emery boards and kinder to nails too. Try the H&M Glass Nail File (£2.99).
Clean your base
Any traces of old polish or cream on your nail can affect the finish and longevity of your manicure, so use a nail polish remover first. An acetonefree version is a gentler solution – try Superdrug’s Nourishing Nail Polish Remover (£1.39/250ml).
Keep it coated
A base coat will prevent staining and help your polish last. We love Barry
M’s Super Mani 7 in 1 Nail Treatment (£3.99/10ml), which contains keratin and argan oil. Finish with a top coat to ensure your colour lasts. As you apply, swipe the very tip of your nail to create a protective cap to prevent chipping. Try Revlon’s ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat (£7.99) – it recreates a salon finish. ■