More and more, men are turning to nail polish as an outlet for self-expression, style and creativity. Whereas in years past men were really relegated to "just a clear coat" or goth shades like black or navy, 2020 has encouraged them to embrace the full rainbow of shades and finishes.
It’s June which means we are solidly in sandal season! It also means that toes need to look pretty and polished, even if you can’t pop in for a pedicure. Now that we've all mastered the DIY mani, it's time to move on to the DIY pedi...and this couldn't come fast enough! A simple DIY pedi is all you need to show off those feet and skip away in your cute summer shoes.
We caught up with some of côte’s amazing nail technicians to discover their secrets for achieving the perfect polished pedi look yourself...
STEP 1: CLEAN & SOFTEN
Using côte’s non-acetone remover, gently dissolve away any old polish and create a clean, dry nail bed with which to work.
pro-tip - If you have a few minutes, soak your feet in a bowl of warm water. Add a little body or hand soap to help cleanse and soften your skin and nails, then dry completely.
STEP 2: SHAPE & SMOOTH
Clip your nails with a large, straight edge clipper, being careful not to cut too close to the skin. Smooth the edges with a fine grit nail file to attain your desired shape.
STEP 3: HYDRATE
Feet can take a beating, especially in our hot summer months. Make sure to moisturize your feet with a rich cream or oil to keep your skin smooth and hydrated.
pro-tip – côte’s organic, cold -pressed argan oil is an amazing all-natural hydrator. Put a few drops on each foot and massage into heels, soles, toes and cuticles. After applying oil, make sure to re-clean your nail beds with a quick wipe of non-acetone remover.
STEP 4: PUMP UP THE BASE
Start the polishing with one even layer of base coat. Don’t make the mistake of skipping this important step! A good base coat really helps colored polish stick and last.
pro-tip - côte’s smoothing base is an awesome base coat that enhances all nail types. This specially formulated treatment works as a ridge filler, strengthener and primer for natural nails, and creates a great base for polish adhesion.
STEP 5: SHOW YOUR COLORS!
Time to paint those piggies! Making sure there is a medium amount of paint on your brush, evenly apply two coats of polish to toes.
pro-tip – To really make colors POP, try playing with layering. Use one application of côte no.2 (a crisp, clean white) followed by a layer of your favorite shade. Watch the color explode on your toes!
STEP 6: END UP ON TOP
pro-tip – Carefully swipe the tip of each nail to seal the edge and ensure no chips.
With your toes attended to and looking great, you’re back in the game! Grab those sandals and reach for that beach bag, you’re good to go. (Don’t forget your sunscreen!)
The trick to washing your hands but saving your mani?
Grab the door knob – wash your hands.
Pick up the mail – wash your hands.
Sneeze, cough – wash your hands.
There’s definitely a theme attached to many of our activities these days. While
EVERYONE will agree that washing your hands is ALWAYS a good idea, it can be a bit tough on pretty polished nails. Here’s a quick “tip” that can save your polish job while you scrub, scrub, scrub away the germs!
When applying your topcoat, give the tip a quick little swipe to seal the edge. That extra bumper gives you the added bit of protection you need to weather the washing!
Stay On Top Of It…
Shiny and smooth? Velvety and matte? There’s a top coat for that. Depending on your desired look, top coats can enhance and subdue every shade in our collection. A good top coat is essential for protecting your manicure or pedicure, and for extending its look and wear. The top coat seals the top layer and helps prevent color chipping or cracking.
In addition to general protection, check out this Pro Tip: apply a thin layer of top coat 4-5 days into your mani/pedi to extend your wear.
Côte offers four different top coats, each with its own look or purpose.
- Quick Dry Top: In a hurry? Apply this over any polish for ultra0shine and a speedy less-than-three-minutes dry time. Côte’s Quick Dry also contains a UV absorber to help prevent nail discoloration.
- Matte Top: Instantly double your polish collection! Transform shiny nails into velvety, soft matte nails. Specially designed to go on evenly, matte top preserves the gorgeous nail color shade beneath.
- Strengthening Base & Top: Contains calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5) and coffee extract to help strengthen natural nails. Beneficial for weak, thin, splitting or peeling nails, this formula also provides great shine as a top coat.
- Protective Base & Top: Provides a base for even color application and long lasting wear while protecting the nail plate from yellowing, stains and discoloration. As a top coat, it protects against chipping and also has a UV absorber which protects from yellowing and fading. It hydrates and seals the nail while creating long-lasting shine.
There are two types of people out there. There are those who love nothing more than to sit down with the latest nail shade and get to town on a DIY nail spa day. Then there are those of us (ahem…speaking for a friend here, of course) who would rather give ourselves bangs with a weed-wacker than try to paint-within-the-cuticles by ourselves.
For those in the later group, fear not! With a whole new level of appreciation for DIY these days, this is something you can definitely tackle…successfully!
Step #1 – set yourself up for success by choosing a light color
Save the deep reds and navys for when you’ve mastered this whole at-home thing. Start off with something forgiving like a soft, barely there pink. côte no.3, no. 5 and no. 10 are excellent starting colors. This way, even if there are still a few slips, it will be hardly noticeable!
Step #2 – anchor your non-dominant hand on the table
Leaning the edge of your hand on something will give you a much steadier grip and allow for less wobbling. If you perch your hand up in the air you’re just asking for trouble.
Follow these two super easy steps and you’re halfway there. Add some calming music, a candle and a glass of rosé and you’ve arrived.
With the current health concerns circulating, the last thing you need to worry about is the safety of your nail polish.
Conventional nail polishes can contain toxins and allergens that when applied can cause irritation or sickness. The nail plate is made of a porous protein called keratin, and anything painted onto it can be absorbed into the body. That means it really matters what you choose to paint on your nails.
When you tackle your at-home manicure or pedicure, make sure you are using treatments and colors that are safe. With côte, you can be confident that 10 of the worst offending ingredients won’t be in there. You get all the long-lasting wear and shine without the long list of harsh, toxic ingredients. But what does that really mean?
1. What makes a nail polish "natural"/non-toxic?
Every ingredient in a nail polish formula serves a purpose. Whether it's a hardener, film former, UV absorber or colorant, each item is there to do a job in creating a lasting, wearable polish. In order to make our polishes "non-toxic" we take out ingredients that are deemed toxins or allergens, and replace them with safe ingredients that will act in the same purpose. So why doesn't every nail brand do this? These alternate ingredients can often be a bit pricier or harder to source, thus making them less of a priority for some brands.
2. Why was it important to you to make cote polishes 10-free?
Côte is actually a 10-FREE brand, meaning we have replaced 10 ingredients deemed harmful or dangerous. We take on the effort and expense to make these changes because we CARE about what goes into our bodies. Most people do not realize that the nail plate is actually made of a very porous protein called keratin. Because your nail plate is not a barrier, whatever is painted on it will soak into your body, entering your bloodstream and nervous system. Once you know these facts about nail structure, we think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who DOESN'T think 10-FREE is important.
3. What are the benefits of 10-free polishes?
The #1 benefit of our 10-FREE polish is everything you DON'T absorb when wearing it!
4. What makes non-10-free polishes bad for you/nails?
Here is a list of the 10 toxic ingredients that we exclude from our products, and what potentially bad effects they can have on you. Inclusion of any of these can be a serious health hazard, which is every reason to stay clear of polishes that are not toxin-free.
NO formaldehyde.... Classified as a known carcinogen, formaldehyde is often used as a preservative, nail hardener and strengthener in conventional polishes.
NO toluene.... Included in some polishes as a solvent to smooth application, is has been linked to impaired human reproduction and development, impaired breathing, being harmful to the nervous system and nausea.
NO dibutyl phthalate (DBT)... .Shown to affect the reproductive system and linked to cancer, DBP has been used as plasticizer and solvent to increase wear.
NO formaldehyde resin.... A derivative of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin is often used as a hardener and in large doses can be a skin allergen.
NO camphor.... Added to some polishes for high-shine, camphor can cause allergic reactions in large doses, cause irritation, dizziness, nausea, and headaches.
NO triphenyl phosphate (TPHP).... Also known as TPP, research suggests it causes changes in hormone regulation, metabolism, and reproductive systems. It has been used in polish as a plasticizer which makes the polish flexible yet durable.
NO xylene.... Used by some brands to help polish from getting gloppy, xylene is also a known allergen and a possible carcinogen.
NO ethyl tosylamide/epoxy resin.... This ingredient has antibiotic properties which raises concern over antibiotic resistance. It can be used as a plasticizer to help polishes dry faster.
NO parabens.... Used as preservatives, parabens get a bad rep for having estrogen-mimicking effects which may trigger hormonal problems.
NO gluten.... Hydrolyzed wheat protein, while considered nontoxic by some, does pose potentially serious issues for those who are gluten intolerant. Used to help moisturize soft, brittle nails, it presents an allergy concern.
Explore our world of color with over 120 different shades and treatments all made cruelty free with the highest quality vegan products to produce the safest toxin-free nail polish available – guilt free!
At-home manis don't have to be a painted-cuticle disaster. With some patience, and a few helpful tips, you can still achieve your pretty painted nails on your own, and in the safety of your own home.
Without the restrictions of our usual daily schedules, now is the time to stay home and have some fun with colors you may not ordinarily wear. Go BOLD with that striking navy you've always admired from afar. Tone it down with that barely there pink your bestie always wears. Make a statement with a fire-engine red that seems too flashy...but maybe isn't!?
Helpful tips to follow in mastering the perfect at-home mani:
- Don't be in a hurry! Take your time, find a clean, well-ventilated space and lay out all your items. Make it your own little home-spa oasis!
- Make sure your nail plate is clean, clean, clean...use a non-acetone remover, then follow up with a wipe of rubbing alcohol
- Don't skip the basecoat! Even though the color is the fun part, the base coat is important if you want your color to last...a thin coat on each nail will suffice
- When applying polish, start with one swipe down the middle, then follow up with swipes to the sides to spread the polish (We have over 120 colors here!)
- Waiting a good 5+ minutes between coats really does wonders for helping the overall drying process and avoiding pressure dings later
- When it's time for the dreaded non-dominant hand, make sure you anchor your hand against something like the table...this will make those wobbles disappear and give you control of where your brush goes
- Finish with a top coat to seal it all up...have fun with this part, consider a matte finish just to mix it up
If you need some amazing products, check out some of our favorite sets !