The Ultimate Guide to At-Home Manicures

Want a professional-quality manicure that lasts for ages? It might take a little practice, but you can become a nail pro! Make your manicure gorgeous and long-lasting in few simple steps.

Want a professional-quality manicure that lasts for ages? It might take a little practice, but you can become a nail pro! Make your manicure gorgeous and long-lasting in few simple steps.


The Ultimate Guide to At-Home Manicures


1. Gather Your Tools


First things first, get your supplies together. Grab your nail clippers, nail file, nail polish remover, top coat, base coat, coloured polish, cuticle pusher, and cuticle oil.


2. Soften Your Skin


It’s important to have soft skin before you start your manicure. Do your nails right after you shower, or just soak your hands in a bowl of warm, soapy water.


3. Attack Your Cuticles


Once your nail beds are soft, take your cuticle pusher and gently push back your cuticles. While some people trim their cuticles, most serious nail pros recommend against it. The irritation from cutting can actually make them look worse.

For maximum benefit, put cuticle oil on your nails the night before. Throw on a pair of manicure gloves and allow the oil to soak into your skin while you sleep. If you have issues with dry skin or problem cuticles, this can seriously transform your hands.

We love OPI Avoplex Nail & Cuticle Replenishing Oil. You won’t find a salon on the planet without this stuff.

 

The Ultimate Guide to At-Home Manicures

 

4. Cut and File


Go for a shape and length that suits your lifestyle. Shorter nails are far less prone to chips and breaks, so your manicure will likely last longer.

If you want long, durable nails, go for a square shape. If you have short, stubby hands, go for an almond-shaped nail to elongate your fingers.

For maximum strength, don’t get too crazy with the nail file. File in one direction and be fairly gentle.

PRO TIP: Never leave home without a travel-size nail file such as Tweezerman Matchbox Itty Bitty Files. If well armed, you can prevent minor chips from turning into major breaks.


5. Prep for Polish


Whether or not you actually need to remove old nail polish, acetone-based nail polish remover is a helpful prep step. By removing all of the oil from your nails, acetone enables your polish to bond to your nails, so your manicure lasts longer.

We love Deborah Lippmann The Stripper Lavender Lacquer Remover. One wipe and you’re done!


6. Paint and Wait


In total, you should use four coats of polish: one base coat, two coats of colour, and one final layer of top coat. It’s important to take your time adding each layer.

Do your nails while you’re relaxing at home and watching TV. You need to leave a little time between each layer, so you don’t want to paint in a rush. Plan for two minutes between each coat.

All in all, after painting your nails, you should set aside about 30 minutes and avoid using your hands. Your nails won’t be fully dry for about two hours, so proceed with caution. And don't polish before bed.

We love OPI RapiDry Top Coat. To speed up the drying process, grab this quick-fix top coat.

 

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