Who needs to shell out the money for a fancy manicure? Not you, after you read this handy list of ways to get the same look at home. A home manicure is totally possible and really easy to carry out, once you get some practice under your belt. I used to hit the nail salon every couple of weeks, but with kids and less disposable income these days, I always do my own home manicure. If I can do it, you can too! Here are some easy steps to get the job done.
1. Remove Current Polish
Your first step to a home manicure is to remove any product currently on your nails. That gives you a fresh, clean slate for your manicure. If you currently have fake nails, they’ll need to be removed. Otherwise, use a cotton ball and some nail polish remover to get all the current color from your nails. Be sure to get along the edges and down by the cuticle so you don’t have any rogue color left behind.
Using a good quality nail file, gently shape your nails, working in one direction the whole time. You can go for the classic rounded look or give your nails a slightly squared off look like you get with acrylic or gel nails. You can even try the new pointy look that is all over runways these days.
Buffing your nails is kind of like filing them, but you do it to the surface of your nail, rather than the tips. You can find inexpensive, but good quality, nail buffers at beauty supply stores. Use your buffer to gently remove ridges on your nails so the entire surface is smooth and ready for polish.
Rinse the debris from filing and buffing off your nails. Then apply lotion and rub it in really well. Fill a small bowl with warm water and soak your entire nail for about 5 minutes. This will soften the cuticle, allowing you to safely push it back before applying your nail polish.
5. Push Back Your Cuticles
I only ever do this with my own fingernails, but you can buy a range of cuticle pushers to get the job done too. Gently push back the cuticle, but be careful not to get rough or your run the risk of tearing a cuticle, which is not comfortable, nor is it pretty.
6. Polish the Nails
Now for the fun part. Start by applying a clear base coat to your nails. Next, slick on two coats of your chosen hue. Bold, bright colors are trending right now, but there’s nothing wrong with sticking with a neutral or pale shade. Finally, top things off with a clear top coat to leave your manicure shining and lovely. Be sure you let each coat dry a bit before adding the next one so you don’t end up with bubbles in your polish. If that does happen, a quick coat of glitter polish will mask it so you don’t have to start all over.
When you go to the salon, you always get a couple of minutes to relax and let the polish dry. At home, you can go all out. Grab a magazine and some wine and lounge out on the couch while your manicure sets. Or, make this the time to catch up on your Netflix or to watch that movie you’ve been dying to see and that you were finally able to rent.
Have you ever done a home manicure? It’s really not all that hard and the results are stunning once you gain some confidence and build your skills. You may never go back to the salon again. I haven’t! What other good tips do you have for the perfect home manicure?