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Nail Care And Easy Nail Design Ideas

Updated on May 23, 2016

Do you want great-looking nails?

Beautifully designed, well cared for nails are stylish and pretty to look at. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot on manicures to achieve this. Lots of people do their nails at home and it can be a lot of fun experimenting with different colors.

The nail care tips in this hub can even be followed by men, so we will cover nail care first before moving on to the designs which women and girls can try.

Click on the images to view their full size.

Nail Care

Nail care should be included in your beauty or grooming routine. Simple steps can lead to healthy, good-looking nails.

A good diet not only promotes healthy skin and hair but also healthy nails so add lots of calcium, fruits, vegetables as well as enough water in your diet to enhance your beauty as well as overall health.

Your nails should not be used to scratch or dig into hard surfaces. It can cause them to weaken and break.

Trimming nails: Nails should be trimmed on a regular basis to enhance the shape and strengthen the nails by cutting off the top part which gets weaker as time goes on. Even those who keep long nails should clip a portion of the top since they can lose their shape and look uneven. Spread a cloth on which the nails will fall before beginning to trim them.Use a nail trimmer for this, making sure it is not blunt since that will not work well and lead to ugly looking, uneven nails.

Filing nails: After clipping your nails, whenever you feel the need to shape them, they should be filed. Filing nails, apart from shaping them, also smoothens the edges. Use an emery board. Start by stroking the emery board from one corner of your nail to the center, taking care not to apply too much pressure. Now file the other corner towards the center too, keeping the emery board tilted at an angle all the time.

Buffering nails: Nail buffers are used to give nails a glossy shine by rubbing the surface of the nails. It helps to smoothen the surface and promote nail health as well. Buffer not more than once a month otherwise it can cause thinning of the nails.

The following home remedies can be used to treat weak, discolored nails:

  • When ever you take your nail polish off, dip fingers for a few minutes in a mixture of lemon juice and water or rub a piece of lemon on nails. This will help to treat the discoloration and promote shine.
  • Next, keep a toothbrush solely for the purpose of brushing your nails. Apply tooth paste on this, and brush your nails with it. This will lead to cleaning and whitening of the nails. You will see some improvement even after the first time.
  • Now to keep your nails moisturized, apply oil such as coconut, olive or sesame to the nails and cuticles. You can do this right after showering or bathing  to lock the moisture in the nails. Even if you have nail polish on, moisturize the nails since the cuticles need to be moisturized. I would not suggest cutting the cuticles like some people tell you to since it can lead to infections.

Now you know all that you can do to care for your nails so lets move on to designing them.The methods used are easy, but it doesn't mean you will get it perfectly the first time round. So be patient and remember to have fun whilst designing your nails.

To create the designs you will be needing:

  • Nail polish (in at least 2 colors)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Base coat
  • Vaseline or any body lotion or cream
  • Cotton ear bud
  • Toothpick (optional)
  • Scotch tape/ Sellotape
  • A pair of scissors

Preparing the nails for design:

Apply base coat on the nails and allow to dry. The base coat (which is a transparent liquid) forms a layer over the nails on which colored nail polish can be applied. This prevents the color from seeping and staining the nails.

When nails are dry, with the cotton ear bud, take a bit of Vaseline/ lotion and apply well all around the skin covering the side of the nail. Doing this will help you remove any nail polish that mistakenly gets applied on the skin. So I will recommend this step.

Now here comes the creative part. I have come up with different designs using scotch tape/sellotape. It involves covering a bit of the nail and leaving the rest uncovered. Then applying nail polish. This way only the uncovered part gets the polish.

As you can see in this picture, I have already applied one color and I am now taping a section of the nail.

So this is the basic part. Read on to find the ways you can tape for different designs. I only use one coat of nail polish and it works well, so I cannot tell how double or triple coats will look.

Design one:

Apply nail polish and let dry well or if you would rather have half the nail bare do not apply any. Now cut a bit of tape enough to go around your finger and rub it a little to take away a bit of its’ stickiness else it would affect the polish on your finger. Now tape diagonally, from one corner on the top of the nail to the bottom of the opposite side. Apply another color, contrasts work well. Don’t worry if you get some on the tape, it will not affect the color underneath, just be careful not to apply it too thick. Take off the tape gently and let dry before applying top coat (optional). In case you get some of the nail polish where you did not intend especially at the sides, here is where the toothpick is needed, use it to to take off the polish from that part.

Design two:

Follow the above steps. But this time, we are going for a half vertical design, so tape half your nail vertically and apply nail polish to the other half. Remove the tape and proceed as mentioned above. When I did mine, it kind of reminded me of superman’s costume because of the blue and red, so next time your daughter is dressing up as super-woman you can try this on her.

Design three:

This one is the same color at the top and bottom with a different one in the middle. Just apply the nail polish as before, when dry, tape the middle section, you can cut the tape into a thinner stripe but be careful since it is sticky and may not cut the way you want it to, so lots of patience here. Now apply nail polish on the rest of the nail, and take off the tape. There you have it!

Design Four:

For this one after applying the color, I taped the bottom and applied clear nail polish with glitter in it at the top. You can use any color you want. And you can change the proportions too, it doesn’t have to be equal, for example tape most of the bottom of nail and leave only a thin part uncovered on top for a slightly different look.

Design five:

Dots are one of the most common style motifs so I thought of doing this for the last finger. After applying the polish and letting it dry, take another color, and with the polish brush or toothpick (though I find the brush easier, so try experimenting) dot the nail. Just take enough to form a dot else too much might drip and spread. In this case don’t panic, just clean with the nail polish remover and start all over again. I know you might get angry should this happen, but with a little practice you will be able to do it quite well, so practice a lot.

The designs above is just the beginning, there is so much more you can do to your nails. Just be creative and on the look out for new ideas you could use. Also pay attention towards caring for your nails and they will reward you by looking great.


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    • LittleFairy profile image

      LittleFairy 6 years ago

      @lizzy, so true epecially once you get the hang of it!

    • profile image

      lizzy 6 years ago

      i think when you spend to much time doing your nails you get caried away i do that some times and i have a cusin who doese nails shes awsome

    • LittleFairy profile image

      LittleFairy 6 years ago

      @ Uninvited Writer, thanks for taking the time to read it :)

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Excellent hub, very well write and helpful.

    • LittleFairy profile image

      LittleFairy 6 years ago

      @ gulnazahmad, i am pleased you liked the designs :)

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Good tips and designs,my nails never grow too large but now I will work on these tips.

    • LittleFairy profile image

      LittleFairy 6 years ago

      @Wooded, you just need a little time to try these designs out but you can care for your nails in between salon visits to improve their health.

    • profile image

      Wooded 6 years ago

      Great designs! I am not so creative so I always end up at the salon.