I love a good mani/pedi, but the truth is, unless I am going on vacation, or it is a special occasion, my visits to the nail salon are few and far between. It is a special treat. It is so much faster and cost efficient to do my nails at home and over the years, I have perfected the art of the DIY manicure. If I do a good job, it will last me about a week and a half. The right products and techniques are key in achieving a lasting manicure, so today I am sharing all of my best tips and product recommendations for you. Enjoy!
- Take off all polish
- If you have time, soak nails for a few minutes in a dish with warm water
- Dry hands and nails thouroughly
- Apply cuticle remover gel and massage into cuticles. Let sit a few seconds
- Use cuticle pusher to push down and remove excess cuticles (the gel will work wonders with this)
- Use nippers to cut any excess skin or snags. DO NOT CUT CUTICLES!
- Rinse and dry hands and then file into desired shape
- Use filing block with the fine grit side to buff nail surface. This is the most important step to make nail polish last longer. Don’t skip it!
- Wash hands again with soap and water. I also scrub them with a nail brush. Dry
- Apply Chip Skip, focusing on the tips
- Apply base coat, let dry 2 minutes
- Apply 2 thin coats of polish, let dry in between coats. (Thin coats and drying in between is CRUCIAL)
- Apply top coat
- Watch the lates episode of “Younger” while letting your nails dry
Cuticle Trimmer & Pusher | My old trimmer broke a few weeks back and I thought it was a really good one, until I purchased this set. Holy moly, what a difference a couple of good cuticle tools can make. Together with this remover gel, it has made the biggest difference in making my at-home manicure look like I had it done in a salon.
Cuticle Remover Gel | This is a recent discovery, and it is amazing! I rub this into my cuticles and then use the cuticle pusher. It eliminates so much dead skin and makes your nail beds look fabulous. I use the trimmer to just nip off any excess skin, but never to cut the cuticles.
Working Hands Cream| This is my favorite hand ream and I have tried them all. It is unscented, soaks right in and the price is right. I have this on repeat in my Amazon cart and order 2 at a time so I never run out. I have always been a handream fanatic and this one is the best. Whenever I post it, I get so many comments on how good it is.
Nail Buffing Blocks |These are crucial for buffing and smoothing out your nail surface before applying polish. I use the fine grit side. It makes the biggest difference and gives polish something to grip to, making your manicure last way longer.
Nail File | I love this one and pick them up at Sally Beauty. So affordable, but they last forever.
CND Solar Oil | My cuticles get very dry in between manicures. I do a ton of cleaning, dishes and laundry in my house and use this oil to keep them soft and hydrated. It makes your whole manicure look better and last longer as well. I keep it on my nightstand and do it while watching tv.
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OPI Chip Skip |This takes any remaining residue off of your nails and helps a ton in extending the life of your manicure. It has a thin, water like consistency and dries instantly. Focus on the tips.
Gelous Base Coat | Hands-down, the best base coat I have ever used. Using this will give you very similar results to a gel manicure at home without the time and hassle involved.
Makeover Base Coat | I had to include this as well. It is technically also a ridge filling base coat, but I use it when I want the most easy & natural of manicures. It smooths out any ridges and has the prettiest finish. I apply 2 coats and then a toap coat. Done! It is infused with peptides to make your nails stronger & healthier and is also very forgiving. If you do happen to get a few chips, they are invisible to the naked eye.
Seche Vite Top Coat | There is a reason this stuff has won so many beauty awards and has garnered iconic beauty status. It is the best!!! More than a top coat, it is a nail finisher. It smoothes out any smudges and imperfections and gives a glossy, hard finish to your nails. It also dries in a jiffy, giving it extra bonus points.
*Most of these products can be purchased at Sally Beauty Supply
I hope this helps you. Let me know, if I missed any great products or if you have any life changing mani hacks.