For anyone new to the world of nail care or color, dipping your toes in may seem overwhelming (pun very much intended). There are options galore plus a seemingly endless list of to-dos and never-dos, but we promise: simplicity can be enough. Start with the basics below, then level up your routine if and when you see fit. Regular maintenance—and being thoughtful of the formulas you use on your skin and nails—are what matter the most.
Whether you’re a salon frequenter, a bona fide DIY-er, all about color, or prefer an au naturel look, here’s our most basic, beginner’s routine for nail color and care.
YOUR NAIL CARE ROUTINE
As much as we love polish, it’s just as important to focus on care: nails, after all, are subject to daily wear and tear that can lead to peeling, breakage, dehydration, and discoloration. In order to combat the damage and boost overall nail health, incorporate the following key #LondonTips into your weekly nail regimen:
- Keep your nails clean. It sounds basic, but it’s the foundation of all nail care. On top of washing your hands regularly, make sure you clean under the nails using a nail brush. If you’re one for polish (even if it’s just a clear coat), do remove your old polish thoroughly before applying a fresh coat. An acetone-free remover like Strengthening Lacquer Remover removes the color, helps lift any staining, and ensures the surface of the nail is completely clean without drying out your nail plate.
- Hydrate your nails and cuticles. Apply the same principles of skincare to nailcare and you’ll realize that they’re not so different at all. In the same way your skin craves moisture, nails need replenishment too. To start, keep your hydration routine simple and fuss-free: a lightweight, botanical-infused Nourishing Cuticle Oil is not only easy to apply, but incredibly effective at reviving dry, dull, or flaky cuticles. Massage the oil around the entire nail area for essential moisturization.
- Trim, file, and shape your nails. This isn’t just for aesthetics: grooming can help prevent splitting or breakage by removing ragged edges. Your most basic manicure kit should include the following tools: a glass file (for expert refining and shaping), a multi-tasking nail buffer (to keep nails shiny and smooth), and a rubber-tipped cuticle pusher (for gentle tidying and a polished look).
Nourishing Cuticle Oil
In just a few drops, this botanical-infused formula deeply replenishes as a blend of multi-correctional plant extracts encourage stronger, healthier-looking nails.
YOUR AT-HOME MANICURE ROUTINE
Now that you have the basics of nailcare down, it’s all about polish. The polish you choose (including your base and top coat) also plays a crucial role in affecting overall nail health and strength. A clean formulation, though better than traditional formulas, isn’t enough: do look for breathable, supercharged lacquers that go the extra mile in delivering care-infused color. Our lakurs, for example, are specifically formulated to provide you with the best of both worlds. They combine high-impact color with restorative, antioxidant-enriched botanical oils so your nails look just as good as they were before you applied your polish—or, more often than not, even better. (You can learn more about our proprietary Florium Complex here.)
Here are a few more beginners’ tips that help you perfect the art of the at-home manicure:
- Start with clean nails. Use Strengthening Lacquer Remover to eliminate any old polish, oils, or impurities to provide an optimal base for your polish to better adhere to.
- Always use a base coat. Not only do kur base coats help prevent staining (especially from bright or deeper-toned colors), but they also allow the polish to apply smoothly—and better grip onto the base for a longer-lasting manicure.
- Apply your nail polish in three strokes, then cap the edge. Apply your polish in an even yet thin layer for a pro-quality finish. Use three strokes (down the center, then one on either side) from cuticle to tip, and to cap it off (literally!), hold your brush perpendicular to your nail and apply the polish across the very edge of the nail. Doing so helps extend your polish’s wear time by preventing chipped edges.
- Let every layer of polish dry between applications. This applies to your base coat, too. Between coats, let each layer dry completely before you follow up with another coat. The extra patience pays off: your polish will apply smoothly without skipping, smudging, or disrupting the layers underneath.
- Finish it with a top coat. A top coat can add high shine (or if you prefer, a matte finish) and give your manicure a fresh-out-of-the-salon finish—but it also serves a practical purpose, too. That final layer is your sealant: it helps prevent fading and chipping while bringing the color to life.
Duplex Base & Top Coat
Strengthening Base Coat + High Shine Gloss Finish to Seal & Protect Nails. From the bottom to the top - all in one bottle.
It’s that simple to get started! For more nail polish tips and tricks, follow us at @LondontownUSA!
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We’re not just aiming for better, we’re going for the best.
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