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How To: The Perfect Manicure & Pedicure Using Three Stroke Application

Fashion & Beauty

How To: The Perfect Manicure & Pedicure Using Three Stroke Application

Women spend hundreds of pounds a year on manicures and pedicures at the salon. I too am guilty of this. However, once you have some tips on how to achieve a salon worthy finish to your nails and toes, you’ll never throw money down the drain again. Unless you want a treat that is.

You’ll Need:

  • A small bowl filled with warm water.
  • Your colour polishes.
  • Nail hardener (optional).
  • Top coat.
  • Nail file (an everyday emery board is recommended rather than a metal one).
  • Nail clippers.
  • A cuticle stick/ or beauty tips can be used. (Cotton wool on plastic sticks).
  • One slice of lemon (or lemon juice for pancakes you get at the supermarket will do).
  • Polish remover.
  • Cotton wool.
  • A towel or paper towels will do.

Step One:  Remove all old nail polish with polish remover and cotton wool. File and shape your nails to your preference. Make sure they are all even and the same length and shape.

Step Two:  Squeeze some lemon juice into the warm bowl of water. Soak your fingers in the bowl of warm water and lemon juice for two to three minutes. This is to soften your cuticles, and clean your nails so they are germ free.

Step Three: Dry your nails with a towel, using your beauty tip or cuticle stick gently push back your cuticles to remove any old skin. If needed clip back your cuticle’s dead skin, using a cuticle clipper. Clean out any dirt from under your nails also. Then wipe them clean so there is no skin or dirt on or under your nails.

Step Four: Apply thin coat of basecoat/ nail hardener to your nails, there are some wonderful basecoats that double up as a base and top coat on the market. Save some money by using these brands. Note that the basecoat/topcoat/ hardener does not have to cost a bomb to be good.

Nail Polish Application Technique:

Manicurists use an application technique that will ensure that your application is even and smooth. I call it the “three strokes method.”  Roll in your hands (do not shake) your polish to wake up the colour.  Once opened, dip the polish brush into the bottle and remove the excess on one side, by wiping it against the inside of the bottle as you normally would. Apply one (thin) coat down the centre of your nail. Dip back in, remove excess, then apply one (thin) coat to both left and right of your nail. Get as close as you can to the side of your nails, without painting your skin. If you do, use a beauty tip and polish remover to remove it straight away. Don’t let it dry. This three strokes application will give you an even application, in three strokes. Don’t do any more than three strokes where possible, apply pressure to the brush if it’s thin, so you can cover more surface of your nail. Make sure you blend the application of polish on the left and right, with the application in the centre of the nail. Applications should be thin not thick and fully dry before you do another one.

Step Five: Allow your basecoat/hardener to dry fully, before you apply the colour. Once dry using the three stroke technique above, apply your first coat of colour. Allow that to dry fully then give your nails a second coat with polish, allow to dry. Apply colour until your nails are even using the technique.

Step Six: It is a must that you use a top coat if you want your polish to last. Using your preferred range of topcoat, apply it using the three stroke technique above. Also, apply extra to the tips of your nails where they have contact with surfaces. Allow it to dry.

Step Seven: Optional, you can add stars, hearts, or glitter to one or all of your nails as I have above. I have a habit of this! Using a small thin brush. An old lipstick application brush can do, or even your child’s paint brush if it’s thin enough. Dip your brush into a glittery polish and apply where you want on your nail bed, only a tiny bit. Or you could apply a dot of clear polish or base coat wherever you want to place stars on your nails, using the thin brush. Then with tweezers or the thin brush, place stars or any nail art you want on top of the clear polish, leave to dry. Ta da! The perfect, quick easy manicure and pedicure using three stroke technique. Don’t throw money away, give this a try before you book your next nail appointment.


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Kim is born in 1983, and from London in the UK. She’s a mother to a beautiful toddler, a proud award- winning author (awarded Best Romance Novel 2017 for the novel A Stranger In France), and the editor of Conscious Talk Magazine. As a writer Kim enjoys creating stories with a diverse and multi-cultural line up, within the romance, romantic suspense and general thriller and crime genres. When she’s not reading, or writing stories of her own her other passions include practising her French, learning about society, history and culture, fashion, drawing, make-up artistry, spending time at her sewing machine dressmaking, watching make–up and beauty tutorials on YouTube, letter writing and being a mum.

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