If you don’t have the time to get to the salon or if you’re trying to save some money, don’t despair. You can still have amazing nails. By just following these simple steps you’ll get the perfect at-home manicure.

Remove current nail polish

The first thing to do, when you want to get the perfect at-home manicure, is to see how your nails are looking now. If you have some nail polish on already, start from that. Get some pads and nail polish remover and start your DIY manicure. Position your arms, as well as your tools, on some flat, protected surface. This way, you’ll avoid any possibility of spills and smudges. You can use nail polish removers in no-spills bottles or some that smell nice. Whichever you choose, make sure that you’ve removed the nail polish completely and washed your hands afterward.

Shape the nails

If you feel that it’s necessary, you can clip your nails. Think of the shape you want to have and then get on the filing. When you start filing, make sure to do it properly to avoid splitting or weakening the nails. Be gentle with your nails whatever shape you choose to make – square, round, or anything in between. Finally, buff the tops and sides of nails with a nail buffer to get a smooth surface.  

Push back your cuticles

Cuticles are more important than you would probably suppose. They protect your nails from bacteria. They’re also keeping the nails soft. For these reasons, you shouldn’t cut them. Instead, you can soften them with oil or lotion. After they’ve softened, use a cuticle stick to push them back.

Exfoliate your hands

When you do the manicure, don’t just focus on the nails. Pay some attention to your hands as well. Exfoliating hands is a very important step in the journey to perfect nails. Next to the hands, you should exfoliate wrists and forearms too. Use some high-quality hand scrub that will eliminate dead skin cells. A good hand scrub should also replenish moisture. You can clean under the nails with a nailbrush. After you’ve done, wash your hands and dry them thoroughly.

Moisturize your hands

You can moisturize your hands at this point, to avoid making a mess later. It’s better to do it now than when your nail polish is about to dry and when you risk smudging everything. You are not doing your nails in a salon, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t relax and enjoy it. Give yourself a mini hand massage and then get to the next step.

Apply the nail polish base coat

Nail polish base coat is very important since it will hydrate and protect your nails once you apply it. Because of this, you shouldn’t forget this step. A good base coat will even prevent chipping. Once you’ve applied this coat, wait at least two minutes and then continue.

Apply the first coat of color nail polish

The fun part finally starts. Get your favourite nail polish online and start applying the first coat once you’ve finished all the previous steps. Pay attention to the way you’re applying it. The brush should get down the cuticle and into the corners of the nail. If you do this first coat well, the second one will be more than easy.

Apply the second coat of color nail polish

You should, again, wait for at least two minutes for the nail polisher to dry. Once it’s dry, you can get to applying the second coat of nail polisher. If you do make some mistake, wait for the nail polish to try completely and then try to fix it by adding a third coat to areas without full coverage, or start from the beginning if the damage is irreparable.

Apply the nail polish topcoat

Once you’re satisfied with your nails’ look and you’ve made sure that you’ve covered everything, you can apply the final, topcoat. A good top coat will protect your manicure from chipping and it will add shine to the nails. Get some without formaldehyde to get the best looking nails possible.  

Clean up rough edges

Once you’ve done, clean up the wobble edges or any mistakes that you may have made in the process. You can wrap a piece of cotton ball around the end of your cuticle pen and go over the edges. Do this very carefully and don’t forget to soak the cotton ball in a nail polish remover before going over the edges. Finally, let your nails dry completely and enjoy the look of your perfect at-home nails.


Amazing nails aren’t done just in a salon. If you follow this simple guide, you’ll be able to do your nails and people won’t believe you once you tell them they’re DIY.

About the author

Stella Ryne

Stella is an art historian,entrepreneur, conscious consumer and a proud mother.She can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement/DIY projects. She’s also deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on.

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