A row of the products mentioned in the article are laying on top of the ZOYA Naked Manicure Gelie-Cure Kit Bag. Products include Naked Manicure Hydrate & Heal Lotion, QTICA Solid Gold Cuticle Oil, Rescue Serum, Repair Base and Naked Perfector.

How to Prep your Nails for a DIY Mani

The secret to flawless manicures? Preparation! If all you’re doing before a fresh manicure is removing your polish and reapplying, you aren’t doing your nails any favors. With just a few easy steps, you can prep your nails to perfection for extended wear of your next manicure. These prep steps also help with keeping your nails hydrated and healthy with consistent use of polish.

Step 1: Remove Polish and Disinfect

You want to have a clean, fresh base for new polish without any residue from your previous manicure. Begin by using ZOYA Remove + to remove existing polish on your nails. Next, you should always wash your hands to rid your nails of any dirt or build-up that could interfere with your application.

Step 2: Clip/File Nails

If your nails need cutting, use a nail clipper to shorten them before filing. File your nails to your desired shape using slow motions, working your way from each edge of your nail towards the middle of your nail tip. Don’t use sawing motions, as this could lead to breakage.

Step 3: Push Back Cuticles

Use a cuticle oil like QTICA Solid Gold Anti-Bacterial Oil Gel to soften the cuticles before pushing them back. An orangewood stick is perfect for pushing back your cuticles and cleaning up the edges of your manicure.

Step 4: Moisturize

Hydrate your hands and nails by using the Hydrate and Heal system. Even if you have freshly polished nails, dry hands will surely ruin your manicure.

Step 5: Apply Treatment or Your Favorite Base Coat

This step is crucial to making your manicure last. Without a smooth base, your polish color will fall into the natural cracks and dents in your natural nails, creating an uneven coat of polish. A base ensures smoother application and a longer-lasting finish. To heal the surface of your nails, consider using the The Rescue Repair System as part of your prep routine. It’s composed of two products that work together to treat damaged nails underneath your polish and also works as a base coat. If you don’t use the treatment system, choose a base coat based on your manicure needs. 

Step 6: Apply a Color Perfector (Optional)

This step is optional for those that have discoloration on their nails they’d like to neutralize. Naked Manicure Perfectors have a range of shades that you can blend to neutralize and color-correct discoloration on your natural nails. Perfectors can be applied on top of your base coat and worn underneath your polish color. 

Feature photo via @mirandachan