At Home Manicure Tips & Tools

I was recently chatting with my sister-in-law about my fav tools for an at-home manicure. She wanted to know about what I loved, and the next words out of her mouth were "write a blog post" ...

It's one of my favorite things to do when I have some time to myself and I've gotten quite good, thanks to my mom who trained me well when I was younger.

I'll happily pay for a pedicure at a salon, but a manicure is something I'd prefer to do myself!

So, here are my fav tips and tools...

My favorite polish brands are OPI and Vinylux. No question. I recently picked up this Butter polish and I like it so far!

My must have tools are a good nail file, buffer, nippers, cuticle pusher and a clippers. You can get all of these at Target or your local drugstore, but if you're looking for some more professional tools try Sephora or Ulta (or even score them at TJ Maxx). I've had these tools for 10 years at least and they're still good as new!

First, make sure your nails and cuticles are soft. This is important so that it's easier to clean up your nail beds. At home for me this is usually after I do the dishes or get out of the shower. :) 

Try to get all your polish off with nail polish remover, but if you have a little bit leftover that's ok because you can use the cuticle pusher to get those stubborn bits off if need be.

Start by pushing back your cuticles. I do this practically every morning, but when I'm giving myself a manicure I take extra care. Just gently nudge them back like this...

Once you're done with all the nails, get your nippers and trim off the bits of cuticles that are in the way. If you don't have a nippers or aren't coordinated enough to use one, your nail clippers will work just fine if you're careful! This step is important so that your polish looks consistent and clean once you apply it later. :)

Next, I trim my nails. I like mine on the shorter side...

I always then file my nails to round the edges, clean up any rough parts and make them smooth. 

If you want to take the extra step, use a buffer to gently shine and prep your nails for polish!

Ok now you're ready for polish. Start by painting a stripe in the middle of your nail...

Spread out that polish on each side. You should be able to paint one nail with one coat of polish from the brush. 

Here is the other side and then you're done. Repeat with all other nails. :)

Voila!! I always do 2 coats for even coverage and durability. I never use a base or topcoat. Honestly because I can't be bothered and it doesn't seem to really matter for me. Either way with normal polish my nails will chip a bit by day 4-5. Vinylux lasts forever though... 10+ days on my nails!!

So pretty and all set to go for summer. 

P.S. The color I use here is Butter Jaffa. It's a summery orangey color!

P.S. My fav tip for a quick dry manicure is here (hint: you probably have this in your kitchen cabinet already)!


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