I get my nails done about once a year, but most of the time I do my own, and I’ve got it down to a science.
Now, it takes less than 10 minutes, and my own DIY manicure in 8 easy steps lasts the entire week.
There are definitely a few tools that I’ve collected over the years that have changed the way I do my nails, and including them into my arsenal has made all the difference. Here are all the tools and the steps to a manicure, that looks less DIY and more like you got your nails did, girl!
Most articles say you should wash your hands, as a first step. Don’t, you’ll simply make your nails too soft to file. Instead, start by filing your nails to the shape that you like. Once your nails are filed, then wash your hands in warm water to loosen the cuticle beds.
2. Apply cuticle oil
Cuticle oil is one of those items that I started to incorporate really recently. About a year ago my sister whipped out a tiny bottle of cuticle oil from her purse and applied it on her tips while driving. She then handed the bottle to me, as if that was a thing we were all doing. Putting cuticle oil on at random times throughout the day. But, she did have a point.
A good manicure isn’t about cutting your cuticles, it’s about gently pushing your cuticles back, to create a clean and smooth nail bed for your polish. Brush a droplet on each nail bed, and massage the oil into your cuticles, this hydrates and softens them. After a few minutes, use a cuticle pusher to gently push your cuticles back.
If you don’t have cuticle oil, olive oil or coconut oil is a great substitute.
3. Use cuticle nippers sparingly
Avoid cutting your cuticles, but if you have a few snags, carefully use the cuticle nippers to snip them.
A four-way buffer can help remove any ridges, smooth the nail beds and even give the nails a shiny, healthy glow. The goal of this product is to simply ensure your nails are smooth for your nail polish application.
5. Skip the base coat
Yep. I found that when I use a base coat, my nail polish chips quickly, and it’s just an unnecessary layer. (For me, but you do you, boo.)
6. Nail polish
The trick with the application of nail color is to apply in thin layers with minimal strokes. Use as little of the product for each of the two coats of nail polish as possible, and never apply more than two thin coats.
Start in the middle base of your nail, then slowly push the brush upward making a straight line until the end of the nail. Go back to the base of the nail, and this time, swipe the polish towards the left or right side of your nail. Repeat the same stroke on the other side. Ideally, you’re looking to cover your entire nail in three precise and steady strokes.
7. Top coat
This is the crowned jewel of my DIY manicure process. I discovered the Seche Vite top coat through a friend and reluctantly spent $10 on it. Not only does it dry your nails super fast, but it also gives your nails a shine that lasts the entire length of your manicure. Apply a very thin layer, and your nails will be shiny and dry in about 5 minutes (!)
8. The cleanup
What really transforms this DIY manicure into a professional-grade looking one is a good cleanup job. Take a toothpick, and wrap a tiny piece of cotton around it. Dip your mini q-tip into acetone or nail polish remover, and clean off any excess nail polish around the edges and cuticles.
That’s it! Treat yourself to salon manicure without breaking the bank.