Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have announced their engagement, and it’s likely that there’ll be a whole load more rings on fingers by the time the new year rolls around—Christmas and New Year’s Eve are the most popular times for popping the question, after all.
So if you are one of the lucky ladies expecting to add some extra bling to your digits, or just love a good ring selfie, look no further for all the manicure tips you need to ensure your nails aren’t the main distraction. Nobody wants a dodgy cuticle sabotaging their big Instagram moment, right?
From the perfect shade to set off diamonds to the top coat you need for extra shine, keep reading for all the manicure tips you’ll ever need.
Do The Prep Work
Before you even look at a nail polish bottle, there’s prep work to be done.
- File: Whatever the shape you prefer, it’s important to always file in the same direction. Going back and forth on your nail can weaken it and cause splitting.
- Nourish: Use a moisturising cuticle oil to replenish your skin and soften any cuticles you’ll need to push back. Apply a drop to the base of each nail, and massage it into the skin.
- Push: If your cuticles tend to creep up your nail, use an orange stick or specially designed cuticle pusher, to very gently push them back. It shouldn’t hurt if you go slow, and will give you more nail to play with.
Don’t Skip The Base
Just like all good makeup looks, the base is where the magic begins. If you’ve used a cuticle oil then wipe your nails over with a nail polish remover to clear any excess oil (it’ll make your polish more likely to chip), then coat your nails with a clear base coat. It’ll protect your nails from staining and drying out, as well give your colour a more even base to grip to.
Choose Your Shade Wisely
Now comes the fun part—unless you’re incredibly indecisive, then it can be a bit of struggle! For a truly classic engagement ring selfie we’d suggest going for a nude polish that suits your skintone, or a soft pink or peach tone that’ll let the ring do all the talking. If your ring has a coloured stone, this is the best way to avoid any clashing too. Fancy something a little more bold? A classic statement red rarely misses the mark, while a deep navy is a great shade to set off sparkles.
Paint Like A Pro
Here’s the trick to getting your polish to look like a professional job: start with one swipe down the centre of your nail, then add another on either side. Don’t take your colour all the way to your cuticle, it looks cleaner and more ‘polished’ to leave a small gap between the colour and your skin. Apply two coats to really get the depth of colour and coverage you need.
The High Shine Finish
Even the glossiest of nail polishes need a little helping hand in the top coat department. Not only will it protect your colour from chipping, it’ll also add a high shine finish that’ll take your DIY job to professional standard.
Need help picking your nail shade? Shop our top picks below, plus all the manicure kit essentials you’ll need:
- The Tools: Elegant Touch Premium Implements Gift Set, £25
- The Base Coat: Nails Inc Nailkale Superfood Base Coat, £10.50
- The Pale Nude: Nails Inc Colville Mews Gel Effect Nail Varnish, £10.50
- The Medium Nude: OPI Pale to the Chief, £10
- The Deep Nude: OPI Barefoot in Barcelona, £10
- The Blush Pink: Butter London Pink Knickers, £10.50
- The Classic Red: Ciaté Boudoir Paint Pot, £6.30
- The Rich Navy: Deborah Lippmann After Midnight, £12.60
- The Top Coat: Mavala Gel Effect Nail Polish Top Coat, £15
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