Self-care comes in many forms, whether you’re practicing some mindfulness, reading your favourite book, taking a bath, or applying a face mask.
And while many of the ways we treat ourselves are also about a physical or visual outcome – eg. putting on a hydrating hair or face mask! – it’s just as much about the experience as it is the outcome.
Manicures & pedicures are the perfect example! That feeling you get after visiting a nail salon; is it just about the gorgeous, perfectly manicured nails that you walk out with?
In part, yes, but you’ve also just spent an hour with your hands or feet in a beautifully warm bath, received a little massage with some nice smelling cream, and basically had someone pampering you & only you for an hour while you sit back & relax.
We’re guessing you walk out of there feeling rejuvenated, a little more grounded, and with a little extra pep in your (perfectly manicured) step. The perfect example of me-time!
So how do you get that in salon-feeling at home? We have put together the ultimate at home manicure & pedicure self-care experience that goes far beyond just painting your nails. In fact, it’s a multi-sensory experience!
Here’s how you can create your own 10-step, multi-sensory nail salon experience in the comfort of your own home (and minus the nail salon bill!):
Find somewhere quiet where you won’t be distracted, put on some music, and turn off those notifications!
Prepare some warm water in a couple of bowls (or a foot spa if you have one!) and add some essential oils. Soak your hands or feet for a while, closing your eyes, and breathing in the aroma of the essential oil as you do. Our suggestion? Lavender or rose – both are incredibly calming and relaxing.
Use a beautiful, rich hand cream or oil to massage your hands & feet, paying special attention to the cuticles. Spend a few minutes per hand or foot doing this – don’t rush this step!
Using a simple buffer, buff your nails to remove ridges and prepare a smooth surface for the nail polish. This step is easily forgotten, but can make a huge difference when applying polish (and unless we’re ambidextrous and have a trained, steady hand, we need all the help we can get when applying polish!).
Wipe the nail with a nail cleanser or remover to remove any oils or soaps on the nail – any excess oil or substance on the nail can lead to peeling of the polish.
We can bet on this step being skipped by most of you, because ain’t nobody got time for it. But when you’re nails start to yellow or your polish starts to chip, you’ll realise those extra few mins weren’t necessarily a waste of time!
A tip – common nail polishes are full of nasties and are bad for both your nails as well as your airways when applying them. We chose to feature Kester Black in our Spring Box as they are ’10-Free’ – meaning their polishes are stripped of 10 of the nastiest chemicals found in nail polishes (including formaldehyde, parabens, xylene, fragrances and animal derived products). Their polishes are also water permeable, meaning once applied to nails, their formula allows water penetration on a molecular level for breathability.
Colour can have a big impact on our mood, and can be a super easy way to add a splash of season appropriate colour to your day. And that feeling of sheer smug-ness when appreciating an awesome new colour on freshly manicured nails and the effect it has on our mental state cannot be underestimated ;) Stick to warmer colours (deep reds, burgundys) in the cooler months, and go for pinks & peaches in the warmer months (Kester Black’s Peach & Apricot Nectar polishes – epic!).
Apply top coat to prevent chipping, paying special attention to the tips. A handy hint? Applying top coat can also help to smooth any messy nail painting work (looking at you, non-dominant hand!). Kester Black also let us in on a little secret recently – keep your top coat handy, and re-apply to your tips every 2 days – you’ll be surprised at how much longer lasting your polish will be.
Take a big, deep breath, have a think about how much more calm and relaxed you feel after spending some time on numero uno. And, of course, smugly check out how great those nails look ;)
You can find Kester Black’s range of ethical, cruelty free and “10-free” polishes here: www.kesterblack.com