DIY Speedy Manicure (yes you can!)

A simple regimen you can (seriously) do at home and score professional-looking results
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Before

Problem: Nails that are brittle, bumpy, and quick to split.

Photo by Chayo Mata

Step 1

File tips into a "squoval" (square with rounded corners), the most youthful shape, says Lisa Logan, a celebrity manicurist. Because nails tear easily after 40, wet a glass file (the least abrasive filing option) and use it to shape your nails.

Photo by Chayo Mata

We like Swissco Emery Glass ($7, sallybeauty.com). For unruly cuticles, soak your tips in water for a minute, then gently scrape any dead skin off the nail bed with a tool like Apt 5 Cuticle Pusher ($5, drugstores).

sallybeauty.com
Photo by Lisa Shin

Step 2

"Ridges are nails’ version of wrinkles — and yes, you get more of them as you age," says Richard Scher, MD, a dermatologist who has special expertise in nails. To smooth out ridges, lightly sand the nail surface with a buffer. (Do this only once a week; excessive buffing will eventually thin and weaken the nails.) Try CND Glossing Buffer Block ($7, goindulge.com).

goindulge.com
Photo by Chayo Mata

Step 3

After applying a base coat, brush on a pale polish in soft pink, cream, or sheer white — the light color cancels out the yellow tones in your nails and brightens the look of your hands. "Darker colors are fine too. Just steer clear of anything with too much yellow or orange; it can make aging skin look sallow," Logan says. Finish with a clear topcoat.

Photo by Chayo Mata

One pink shade we like: Chanel Nail Colour in Allegoria ($23; Click to purchase"

Photo by Lisa Shin

Step 4

Apply hand cream with SPF 15 or higher to plump skin and block UV rays, the primary cause of age spots. We used a sheer, slightly tinted face primer, which also helped even out skin tone.

Photo by Chayo Mata

A great primer to try: Smashbox Photo Finish SPF 15 ($42; Click to purchase" Note: The primer is water-resistant and virtually clear, so it won’t stain your shirt cuffs.

Photo by Lisa Shin

After

Hands and nails look younger, smoother, and even-toned.

Photo by Chayo Mata

Shopping List

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color in Rose-a-Go-Go ($5; drugstores). Not so skilled at the DIY mani? This lacquer’s new, extra-wide brush makes application easier — two strokes and your whole nail’s covered. (Bonus: Drying time is just 60 seconds)

Photo by Lisa Shin

Curel Targeted Therapy Fast-Absorbing Hand & Cuticle Cream ($5; Click to purchase) Keep a tube at every sink in your house; slather on as often as possible.

Photo by Lisa Shin

CND Almond Illuminating Masque ($14; "Click to purchase:"http://www.goindulge.com/home.php?cat=262). For extra-dry nails, apply this moisturizing mask once a week.

Photo by Lisa Shin

Essie Fill the Gap ($11; Click to purchase). If your nails are especially thin and weak, skip the buffing and try this ridge-filling base coat.

Photo by Lisa Shin

Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Pro Deep Wrinkle Roller ($17; Click to purchase). Can’t stand greasy post-lotion hands? Roll this anti-aging face product on the back of your hands instead. You get the same moisturizing benefits, sans stickiness. Click here for 13 Ways to Get Better Brows at Home

Photo by Lisa Shin

First Published Thu, 2009-04-30 21:46

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http://www.more.com/beauty/anti-aging/diy-speedy-manicure-yes-you-can