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If your do-it-yourself manicure didn't turn out the way you hoped, don't blame the nail polish! Top manicurist Eugenya Viner, of the Aida Thibiant Salon, in Beverly Hills, California, says that the condition of your nails and cuticles makes all the difference in your manicure. Here are some common manicure mistakes to avoid, according to Viner (courtesy of Ladies Home Journal):
Mistake #1: Filing nails in the wrong direction. Don't saw your nails; instead gently file them down at an angle to the nail, file from left corner to center for a few strokes, then from right corner to center.
Mistake #2: Neglecting cuticles. Rough, ragged cuticles can lead to painful hangnails. Put a dab of rich cuticle oil on your cuticles after showering and before bed.
Mistake #3: Cutting cuticles. Your cuticles act as a barrier against bacteria - clipping your cuticles increases the risk of skin and nail infections. Instead, dip your hands in warm water and push your cuticles back with a washcloth or soft Q-Tip.
Mistake #4: Skipping base coat. Without a base coat, your nails can become stained or dried out from your polish. Always use a moisturizing base coat on clean, dry nails and let the base coat dry before applying polish.
Mistake #5: Leaving polish on too long. Nail polish has a tendency to dehydrate nails and once the polish begins to chip, it can peel away a layer of the nail. It's good practice to remove nail polish once a week, wash your hands and reapply nail polish for a fresh and cleaner look.