This task is designed for people of all ages and genders who have an interest in painting his or her nails. After going through the listed steps, one will be able to accomplish proper nail care and painting. This includes filing, buffing, cuticle care, exfoliation, painting the nails, and aftercare, which will include detailed information about the importance of each step. In addition to the detailed care information, these instructions will include needed materials such as nail shaping tools, scrubs and moisturizers, nail polish and remover, etc. Along with these materials comes safety precautions to be aware of. Some of these tools could be potentially dangerous if used the wrong way or near an open flame. These terms will all be identified and exemplified in clear step-by-step pictures to be easily understood. These tasks are relatively simple and if followed correctly, one will always be successful.
To prepare to follow these steps it would be helpful to set up the workplace in which the person plans to carry out this task out. To ensure no infections while doing this task it is important to disinfect the surface and then place a napkin or paper towel down. The paper towel will catch the nail shavings from filing and clipping, and will prevent paint spills or paint drops from getting on the surface below. It will also be helpful to have all of your materials around your workplace before starting this task. These would include:
Nail file, Nail buffer, Cuticle trimmer, Water, Paper towels, Nail polish remover, Hand scrub, Nail polish, Clear coat, Cotton Swabs/ q-tips, News paper
Step 1: Filing Nails/ Shaping
The first step to properly paint your nails is to shape each nail. This will allow for the paint to go on smoother, as well as look neater in the end.
-choosing to file nail in a round or square shape This is aspect is completely the person’s choice of whether they prefer a round-edged nail or square-edged nail, neither will change the success rate of this task. For rounder nails, start filing from one corner of the nail and move the file in a semi-lunar movement until desired shape is reached. For squared nails, file straight across the top of the nail to make a smooth edge from corner to corner, while also filing the side of the nail to create a box-like edge.
-Buffing top of nails For this task you will need a buffer block, which is almost like a file, however its edge is not as rough. This tool is used to even out the surface of the nail to allow for the paint to go on evenly, and prevent nail breakage in future. To do this, pretend like you sanding a piece of wood; Move the buffer side to side on the surface of the nail, until desired smoothness is achieved.
-Important information When shaping the nails, for sanitary reasons find a flat surface and put a paper towel on top of the surface in which you plan to file above.
Step 2: Cuticle Care
The second step includes the care of your cuticles. This aspect of the task will help with the smooth application of the nail polish, the health your nails, and most of all the shaping of your nails.
-Cleaning tools. In preparation for this step, it is suggested that you sterilize the tools before using them. This is necessary due to the fact that the cuticle trimmers will be cutting near skin and could possibly nick the skin surrounding the cuticle. If the skin is cut while doing this task and the tools are not properly cleaned, it could cause a bacterial or fungal infection on the skin. To properly clean the tools, wipe them down with isopropyl alcohol thoroughly and wait for them to dry.
-Clipping excess skin around nails. After cleaning the tools, the cuticles can be trimmed by clipping the excess skin. To do so, a tool that looks like a small pair of scissors with sharply pointed edges will be used. Start by grasping a small piece of skin from the cuticle and pulling away gently while clipping. Be careful not to catch skin while clipping the cuticle, as this will cause pain. After trimming the cuticles to the desired need, and extra dead skin hanging from the sides of the nails can be trimmed off using the same techniques until the skin around the nail is cleaned up.
Step 3: Scrubbing With Exfoliator/ Moisturizing
-Scrubbing with warm water and scrub. After filing, shaping, and clipping the skin around the nails it is great to get it all off! When painting the nails it is also nice to get rid of the dead skin around the nails and on the hands. A hand scrub with micro beads in it will easily remove any dead skin and help exfoliate the skin. Start by applying a small amount of the exfoliator to the hands with a small amount of warm water, and scrub for about a minute. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
-Moisturizing/ Massaging After exfoliating to continue with the care of your hands and nails, add a small amount of moisturizing lotion to the hands and nails. A lotion that has vitamin E might be more beneficial due to the benefits it has on the health of your skin, but any lotion of your choice will work! Massage into hands and nails for about a minute to ensure complete coverage.
Step 4: Prepping Nails
-Nail polish remover to remove excess chemicals and soap from nail surface. Although exfoliating and moisturizing is healthy for the skin, it can have effects on the efficiency of the nail polish. If excess soap or dirt is on the nail it will not allow for the polish to stick as well as it should, effecting how long it will stay on your nail. To avoid this, apply a small amount of nail polish remover to a cotton swab and gently wipe each nail down; this does not have to be thorough, just enough to clean the surface.
-Base coat. The last step to prepare the nails for painting is applying a base coat. Nail polishes contain harsh chemicals that could harm your nails in the long run and stunt the growth. The purpose of adding a base coat to the nails is to protect the nail from these chemicals and allow it to grow stronger than it would without. Apply a small amount to each nail and use the brush to cover the surface in entirety.
Step 5: Painting Nails
-Choose color. This aspect of step five is totally up to the participant that is doing this task. Some people choose their color by preference of favorite colors, while others choose the color by the color schemes of the current season.
-Painting. After choosing a color it is time to paint! Start by placing the hand you are painting firmly on a flat surface to help with the steadiness. To start painting, remove the applicator from the bottle of nail polish. Try to get enough on the applicator brush by scraping one side off on the bottle and using the other side on the nail. Start painting a singular line down the middle of the nail, then paint another line beside the middle line in a curved motion. Proceed to paint the other side of the nail with the same curved line motion next the the middle line again. Stroke over the entire nail with the paint one last time to ensure for full coverage, and then move on the to next nail.
-First and second coat. Some nail polishes tend to differ in their concentrations which can cause some paints to be more translucent than others. For some, it is need to repeat the painting step once or twice until the nail is covered to your liking, or till the color is as dark as you wish.
-Drying. After painting all 10 nails to your liking, lay the hands down on your flat workplace surface. Try not to move your hands or let anything come near them for about 5 minutes. To test if they are dry enough to apply top coat, extremely gently touch the surface of a nail. If a fingerprint appears to be imprinted into the nail, they are not dry enough. If there is no imprint, they are ready for the next step!
Step 6: Top Coat/ Cleaning Up
-Top clear coat. If any nails were harmed while drying, they can be fixed before applying topcoat by removing the nail polish and repeating step 5. Adding top coat to the nail not only gives off a clean, finished, shiny look, but it also drys as a hard, protective layer to the nail. To apply, use the same mechanism you used in step 5 to paint the nail: Start painting a singular line down the middle of the nail, then paint another line beside the middle line in a curved motion. Proceed to paint the other side of the nail with the same curved line motion next the the middle line again. Stroke over the entire nail with the paint one last time to ensure for full coverage, and then move on the to next nail.
-Drying. Before finishing with clean up, allow the nails to dry again for about 8 minutes. Use the same technique again to test if the nails are dry enough to move on: extremely gently touch the surface of a nail. If a fingerprint appears to be imprinted into the nail, they are not dry enough.
-Cleaning up excess nail polish around nail. Once the nails are fully dried, it is usually needed to go back and remove excess nail polish around the nail and on the skin. To do this you will need q tips and a small amount of nail polish remover. Gently whisk the q tip on the skin around the nails to remove the extra nail polish, but be careful not to touch the surface of the nail.