When summer comes around, many of us look to make sure our nails are in tip-top condition – especially when it comes to toenails that have been concealed all winter! With thousands of nail care products available today, it's no longer essential to book into a nail salon for your manicure and pedicure.
The at-home mani-pedi has become something many of us enjoy doing as part of our self-care routines. Plus, it gives us the freedom to chop and change our nail styles whenever we want. And with nail inspo from TikTok, TV adverts and Instagram influencers, we're not short of ideas!
In this guide, we'll share our tips for getting the perfect manicure and pedicure from the comfort of your own home.
Before choosing nail polish colours and summer-ready designs, it's important to put in the prep-work to ensure long-lasting results.
For both your fingernails and toenails, the process is the same when it comes to nail preparation. Start by filing your nails into your desired shape – cutting first with clippers if required – before filing downwards to remove any jagged or uneven edges. We recommend filing gently in one direction to avoid breaking or weakening the nails.
Once you're happy with the shape of your nails, you can move on to the cuticle work.
You'll need a cuticle pusher and a pair of cuticle nippers close at hand. Start by soaking your nails in warm water for a few minutes to soften the cuticles, as this will make it easier to push them back.
Use your cuticle pusher to gently move the cuticle back towards the finger and away from the nail bed. Be sure not to push too hard or far back as this can be uncomfortable and could cause damage. After pushing back to clear the nail bed, you can use your nippers to trim away any excess – be careful not to cut too much.
Next, you buff your nails with a light buffer to create a smooth surface ready for painting. Like filing, do this in one direction from the bottom of the nail to the edge. Avoid buffing and removing too much of the nail surface.
An additional step for your pedicure includes hard skin removal to ensure your feet are ready for open-toed shoes. You can use a foot file to gently file the dry or hard skin on your feet to reveal the softer new skin underneath. You might need to do this a few times over several days if there is a build-up of dead skin.
Once you've finished preparing your hands and feet, be sure to remove any nail dust with a cotton pad and a touch of nail polish remover.
With the preparation complete, you can move on to painting your nails. Regardless of your chosen style or colour, always start with a base coat. Brush on a thin layer and repeat on every finger or toe.
Usually, it'll take two coats of colour to cover the nail, but some lighter or pastel shades might need a third coat if you want to avoid seeing any of your natural nail underneath. Finally, once your colour is dry enough, you can finish your nails with a top coat for increased shine and protection.
If you're in a bit of a hurry, you can also spritz our fast dry nail setting spray to speed up the drying process and ensure your nails are touch dry in as little as 60 seconds.
With your summer nails looking fresh with a pop of colour, the final touches can be completed. It's best to wait until your nails are at least touch dry before applying the finishing products. We always recommend using a nourishing hand cream to keep the skin feeling soft and smooth.
Finally, you can apply cuticle cream or oil to the base of each nail and gently rub it with your thumb or finger to spread it over the rest of the nail. Cuticle oil can help keep your cuticles soft so they don’t dry out or rip, and it can also improve the health and strength of your nails.
Summer Nail Styles
Choosing your summer nail style is one of the most important parts of your manicure or pedicure, and with hundreds of colours available, you're spoilt for choice!
Bright colours are always a popular nail trend in the summer months, especially if you've managed to secure a glowing tan to accompany your nails. This summer, we're loving bright pink nails, like our gel shine nail enamel in 'pink obsession'. If pink's not your thing, try 'twinkle in time' from our pro colour in 60 seconds range.
For those who prefer a more subtle nail colour or those who perhaps have weddings to attend in the summer, nude nails, pastels or French tips are also great options.
We have a vast selection of different nude shades to choose from and to suit different skin tones.
Our nudes and light pink colours can also be used to create French nails. To get a French manicure, apply your nude colour as you would with a regular colour until you reach your desired depth. Once this is dry, apply your white nail polish by brushing across the nail in a single stroke, following the natural white tip of your nail.
If nail art is more your thing, you don't always need to turn to DIY videos, a manicurist or a nail salon to create intricate nail designs with polish. Things like glitter, press-ons and foil heat-activated stickers are much easier! We love checkerboard, tie-dye and floral designs to bring all the summer vibes.
Now you know everything about summer-ready nails, it’s time to stock up on the essentials in our nail care range and start looking for your next nail inspiration!