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Step 1: Use plastic nail clips and a cotton swab to soak off your old nail polish. Some people love Mineral Fusion, but I just use regular nail polish remover. Don't leave it on too long, or your nails will dry out!
Step 2: If you have time available between manicures, apply a cuticle oil to your entire nail bed. The oil itself can be something like salon-grade OPI cuticle oil or even as simple as olive oil from your cabinet. The important thing is to nourish your nails from time to time, especially if you wear polish frequently. This will help keep your nails healthy and strong! Note: Make sure you wait until the following day, or ensure your nails are oil-free before trying to apply your new Color Street set.
Step 3: (Optional) If you have special concerns about your nails, such as brittleness or ridges, you may need to add an extra step to your regimen. For thin, brittle nails, I recommend Hard as Hoof or OPI Nail Envy. If you're worried about ridges appearing under your thinner nail strips, try either OPI or Barielle ridge fillers.
Step 4: Trim and file. I like to use a coarse grit nail file for initial shaping, and then fix up the details with a glass nail file. Also, you can never go wrong with a 4-way buffer block!
Step 5: Push it real good! Gently push those cuticles back with a soft rubber-tipped cuticle pusher. DO NOT OVERDO THIS STEP! Your little baby cuticles are fragile, and if you break the skin you'll cause bleeding and risk possible infection. Now is also the time to use the cuticle trimmer on any hangnails or dried out skin along the edge of the nail bed, but PLEASE don't cut your cuticles, simply because of the aforementioned perils.
Step 6: Now you're ready to wipe your nails down with the cotton pad and apply your new Color Street nail strip set!