The Manicure Bible: How to Ace a Manicure at Home

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,384
    Tom Bachik knows nails. He designs looks for Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham, he is L’Oreal Paris’s brand ambassador, and he has over 54,000 Instagram followers. People look to him as a manicure mensa.

    Working with Tom over the years, I’ve gotten to know his fun personality and learned so many great tricks that I figured, “why not share the wealth?” We sat down after a nail art shoot to discuss the dos and don’ts of at-home manicures, and thus The Manicure Bible was born.

    So does buffing your nails matter? What’s the deal with file grit? And how can you ensure streak-free polish application? Tom shares the tricks he uses on Zooey Deschanel and Heidi Klum, all in the name of the perfect set of nails.

    Kirbie Johnson: Hey guys it's Kirbie I am back with Tom Bachik. How are you doing buddy!

    Tom Bachik: Doing good, thanks for having me.

    Kirbie Johnson: No problem. Well, okay, if you don't know who Tom is; let me just break it down for you. Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Zooey Deschanel, the list goes on and on and on. Tom Bachik: Thank you! Kirbie Johnson: You are a very lucky man. Tom Bachik: I am, I am so blessed. Kirbie Johnson: So blessed with these beautiful ladies. All right Tom, so we are going to play the lightning round of swords, a game. Tom Bachik: Yes. Kirbie Johnson: So I am going to ask you a question, first thing that you can think of tip or trick just let us know, okay? Tom Bachik: Okay. Kirbie Johnson: All right so tell me about a dry manicure, because I feel like this might be a good trick. Tom Bachik: Absolutely! I prefer the do a waterless manicure and the reason for that is because even though the water and the soaking and that is all very pampering, it can actually effect how well the polish stays. Your natural nail is very porous and it can actually absorb water so much so that it could actually cause the nail to change shape.

    Kirbie Johnson: I had no idea about that Tom, so you're blowing my mind and they consider me the beauty expert here at POPSUGAR, so here we go, what is the best cuticle tip that you have and maybe a mistake that people make? Tom Bachik: I recommend pushing back the cuticles, if you do this routinely then you're not going to have to worry about going in and cutting it. Now if you do have a hand nail like a piece of skin that's peeled back already or excessive cuticle, you can cut that. What you have to be careful for is cutting too much, because your body, your cuticle is actually the guardian that protects the matrix area where your nail cells grow, and if you take too much of it off, your body senses it as trauma and grows it back even thicker. Kirbie Johnson: Got it! Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Tom Bachik: So it's important to keep the cuticles pushed back, you can do this very easily and gently when your hands are soaked like after the dishes or in the shower in the tub, you can use a wash cloth, a little bit of hair conditioner and just softly massage it in, push back the cuticle and if you do that you should have nothing to worry about. Kirbie Johnson: So when it comes to filing, I know that all files are created equal, can you break down the filing trick, because there are some different grits to look for and stuff like that right? Okay! Tom Bachik: Definitely! Different files have different grits which means how the coarse the file is. Is it very rough or it is very smooth. Kirbie Johnson: Do you want rough or smooth? Tom Bachik: Great question! You want smooth. Kirbie Johnson: Okay. Tom Bachik: Because your nail is actually made up of layers so if you get down to like the microscopic level, if you're using a very rough or coarse file, on that yeah, you take down your length very quickly, but when you get down in there and you're looking really small, that rough grit is actually separating those layers at the end and can cause splitting and peeling I should say.

    Kirbie Johnson: But how do we know if a file is smooth? Tom Bachik: The higher the number the smoother the file. If you get down in to the lower numbers like a 120, 100, or an 80 grit, those are very rough and usually those are used for nail enhancements. Kirbie Johnson: Okay, I was going to ask that like why would you even want one of those, but it makes sense now. One thing I think people always get is the buffing portion of the manicure. Sometimes they do it at this lawn and they feel like that's very luxurious but is there a benefit to doing at home? Tom Bachik: After we have pushed back the cuticle, taking a buffer and focusing mainly around the cuticle area actually smoothes out and tightens the cuticle down to the nail place, you have super clean smooth cuticles. Kirbie Johnson: Moving on the base coats is there a trick to applying base coat, can we skip base-coat, what is the - I mean I know it was an anchor, right, for your nail-polish. Tom Bachik: It is. Base coat works a lot a like double-sided tape. So it adheres to the natural nail better than what nail polish adheres and then it adheres to the nail polish. So you can - if in a hurry, you can skip a base-coat, but you're not going to get the best wear. The best wear is going to be using a separate base-coat and a separate top-coat. Kirbie Johnson: So when we are painting our nails, I have heard so many different processes with this, like you can do downwards, you can go upwards you can divide the nail in half; what is your technique? Tom Bachik: What I do is I start with my brush about two-thirds of the way back on the nail and I apply the brush and I put a little bit of pressure so the brush kind of fans out, and when doing so it makes a rounded tip, then I can push that back towards the cuticle and I come straight out off of the edge of the nail, then I go back and I come down one side and then back to the center and down on the other side. Kirbie Johnson: Okay, so then you have your paint on, everything is great, top-coat is absolutely necessary to keep your paint in place, and I have heard that you always want to go around that edge of you nail to lock it in. Tom Bachik: It does, it helps to once you have done the top-coat over the top that's going to seal and protect your color or your design, but then also just to cap off the free edge of your natural nail, is going to help kind of seal that color off all the way around the edge of the nail. And it gives you a little bit longer wear. Kirbie Johnson: Okay, and by the way this turned into not a lightening round. Just turned in to an interview, but hey, I like it, great information. How long should you wait for your nails to dry? Tom Bachik: Great question! There is actually a trick to this as well. The key is to actually let each coat of polish dry for about a minute between coats. Kirbie Johnson: This is all making sense. Life is magical, isn't it? Tom Bachik: Yes, wait, is this a trick question? Kirbie Johnson: Life is magical!