Being a lady who's obsessed with nails, I've definitely learned a few tricks along the way. Sure, going to a nail salon and getting a mani is fun, but you can get the same look at home for much cheaper (some salons can cost up to $50!).
Doing it yourself isn't as difficult as you might think. I have a pretty good system that works and looks fabulous.
First, you need to gather the essentials. Be sure to have all these things ready to go before you even start anything:
- Nail-polish remover and cotton swabs or pads
- Nail clippers, if your nails need a trim before you polish
- Emery board
- Base coat
- Nail polish
- Clear topcoat
Next, use nail polish remover to get rid of old polish. An acetone-based polish remover is a bit more harsh than others, but the acetone removers get the job done faster.
Shape your nails--first using clippers (if you need to), then use an emery board to file your nails into your desired look. I usually go with a slightly rounded nail shape.
Now you have to prep your nails for the polish. Moisturizing ingredients of any kind left on the nail will prevent polish from adhering properly. Using a cotton swab or pad, apply nail-polish remover again over the nail's surface to remove any residue.
If you have weak or brittle nails, use a base coat of ridge-filling nail polish to make your nails look super smooth. A base coat is crucial! I cannot stress that enough! It protects nails from staining and prevents chipping.
Then, apply your color polish in layers, allowing each layer to dry between coats. Two coats of color polish, followed by a top coat to add shine should do the trick. Layering is important. If you apply one thick layer, it won't dry as well, or look as even.
To make your mani last as long as possible, touch it up with a single layer of top coat every couple of days. This can make all the difference in keeping up the appearance and durability.
You can def get a gorgey manicure doing it yourself. And remember: practice makes perfect!