A manicure is a fun beauty treatment that many people enjoy splurging on. It usually involves clipping or filing the fingernails and applying nail polish. You can give yourself a manicure at home with the right supplies. But if you’d rather leave it to the professionals, you can go to a nail salon instead. Regardless of whether you choose to do it yourself or have someone else do it for you, the steps are the same for achieving a beautiful manicure. The first step in a good manicure is to remove your old nail polish. You can do this using a cotton swab that’s been soaked in nail polish remover. If your old nail color was dark, you may want to place the soaked cotton swab on your fingernail and press gently on it for thirty seconds. This will make it easier to fully remove the old polish. Next, you’ll need to shape your nails. You’ll want to use an emery board for this step. Don’t file your nails like you’re moving saw since that can cause your nails to become damaged. Instead, you should file your nails gently and aim for a rounded look for each of your nails. For the third step, you’ll need to soak your fingers in a bowl of lukewarm water that has a drop or two of gentle soap added. You only need to soak your nails for two or three minutes, just long enough to soften your cuticles. Slowly push back your cuticle using an orangewood stick and apply cuticle remover. Since directions can vary by brand, be sure to read the label before applying cuticle remover to your skin. Once you’ve done that, you should trim any hangnails you may have. Now you should use a moisturizer on your cuticles to ensure that they look healthy and shiny after your manicure. If you get some moisturizer on your nails, don’t worry. Remove it with a cotton swab that’s been dipped in warm soapy water or nail polish remover. Now it’s time to apply your base coat of nail polish. This base coat does two things for your nails. It prevents your nail polish from staining your fingernails and it fills ridges and dents in your nails so your polish looks even. Once your base coat has dried, you’re ready to apply your nail polish. For the best results, you’ll want to apply two thin coats of polish. If you’re giving yourself the manicure, choose a lighter color of nail polish. The lighter the color will make it harder to spot your mistakes. After your nail polish dries, apply a top coat of polish. This top coat will help prevent your nails from chipping and creates a shiny, professional finish. To keep your nails looking great for longer, reapply the top coat every two or three days.