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How to Prep Nails: A Complete Guide for Perfect Manicure

  • Post category:Nails
  • Post last modified:May 21, 2023
  • Reading time:9 mins read

To prep nails, begin by removing any old polish with acetone and clipping and filing them to your desired length and shape. Proper preparation results in a smoother surface for your nail polish application.

Prepping your nails is an essential part of a successful manicure. Whether you’re heading to a salon or doing your nails at home, you need to ensure that your nails are clean, dry, and ready for polish application. Proper nail preparation not only helps your polish last longer but also aids in preventing nail damage. It involves removing your old nail polish, filing and shaping your nails, pushing back your cuticles, buffing the nail surface and washing your hands. So, before painting your nails with your favourite shade, take out some time to prep your nails to achieve that perfect and long-lasting manicure. In this article, we will guide you on how to prep nails for a flawless manicure in just a few simple steps.

How to Prep Nails: A Complete Guide for Perfect Manicure


Gather Necessary Tools

Prepping your nails is an important step before applying polish. Firstly, gather all the necessary tools including nail scrubber, clippers, filer, and cuticle remover. Don’t forget the nail buffer, cotton balls or dipilatories, and an orange wood stick. The nail scrubber is used to clean the nails and the cuticle remover will soften the cuticles.

Next, use the clippers to shape your nails and the filer to smooth the edges. Then, gently push back the cuticles using the orange wood stick. Finally, buff the nails to remove any remaining ridges. Proper preparation will result in a long-lasting manicure that looks great.

Clean And Shape Nails

To prep your nails for a fresh coat of polish, start by removing any old polish with a cotton ball or dipilatory. Once clean, use a nail scrubber to thoroughly clean each nail. Then, trim and file your nails in your preferred shape.

Use a buffer to smooth the edges of your nails for a flawless finish. With these simple steps, your nails will be ready for a fresh, new look.

Soften Cuticles

To soften cuticles for a perfect nail prep, first apply cuticle cream or oil to the nail bed. Then, use an orange wood stick to gently push back cuticles. Finally, you can remove excess cuticles with a cuticle remover tool.

Buff And Polish Nails

Buffing and polishing your nails is an essential step in the prepping process for a shiny and healthy look. Firstly, use a buffer tool to gently smooth out any ridges and rough edges on your nails. Then, apply a thin and even layer of base coat.

Wait for it to dry entirely before proceeding with two coats of your desired nail polish. Be sure to let the polish dry each time before applying another layer. Avoid any smudges and make sure to give it enough time to dry entirely.

With these easy steps, you’ll have beautiful and polished nails in no time.

Add Final Touches

Prepping your nails is essential to getting the perfect manicure. To add final touches, use a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover to remove excess polish around the nails. Next, apply a top coat of nail polish to seal the color and add shine.

Make sure to let the top nail polish dry completely before doing anything else. Following these simple steps will help your nails look perfectly polished and ready for a night out on the town. So, get your nail polish remover, top coat and favorite polish color and start prepping your nails for a gorgeous outcome!

Tips For Long Lasting Manicure

To get a long-lasting manicure, avoid hot water for at least an hour after painting nails. Wear gloves while performing household chores to prevent chipping and weakening of the nails. Moisturize cuticles and nails daily to keep them healthy and strong.

Avoid using nails as tools, which can cause them to break or bend. Follow these tips to ensure your nails stay looking fabulous for days after your manicure!

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Prep Nails?

1. Why Is It Important To Prep Nails Before Applying Polish?

Preparing nails ensures the polish adheres better, lasts longer and looks better.

2. What Is The First Step In Prepping Nails?

The first step is to remove any old polish and file nails to the desired shape and length.

3. How Do I Properly Clean My Nails?

Use a gentle nail polish remover to remove old polish and then wash with soap and water.

4. How Often Should I Moisturize My Nails?

Moisturize your nails and cuticles daily to prevent them from becoming dry and brittle.

5. What Should I Do If My Nails Are Weak And Prone To Breakage?

Consider using a strengthening treatment or supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals that promote nail health.


Prepping nails is an essential step that should not be overlooked to achieve the desired result in your manicure. By following the steps above, you can make sure your nails are clean, smooth, and ready for polish. Remember to always start with a clean slate and use gentle techniques to avoid damage.

It’s also important to keep your cuticles and surrounding skin hydrated and healthy. Regularly practicing good nail care habits can help promote the overall health of your nails and prevent issues like infections and breakage. Take care of your nails, and they’ll take care of you!