7 Steps to Get the Perfect Manicure at Home

by Aaron Finch

A perfect manicure is a dream come true, but if you find yourself at a loss of ideas as to how to do it at home, then this article is perfect for you. We’ve compiled every step required to create the ultimate nail polish hue in your own home — from choosing the right tools and supplies to applying the mani correctly. In short: You can now achieve professional results with ease.

 To start with, you’ll need to choose your nail polish shades. If you want to do a simple one-color manicure, then you’re all set — but if you want a more dynamic look, consider choosing various shades of the same color family. Don’t be afraid of color! Having said that, for beginners we recommend sticking with pale hues or pastels until you get used to giving yourself a manicure and know what the correct way is to apply the polish.

7 Steps to Get the Perfect Manicure at Home :

1. Prep

Start off by cleaning your nails, then prepping them with a cuticle oil or cream. The key here is to make sure the oil or cream isn’t too greasy. You want it to be a perfect base for the polish to bond to, not so thick that it makes your nails look dirty. Follow the instructions on the box or consult your manicurist’s guide for the proper way to apply cuticle oil.

2. Base coat

To protect your nails from staining, apply a base coat. This coat is the foundation for your manicure and will keep the color from getting onto your nails. Don’t skip this step, as it’s critical to getting a nice, even manicure. You can choose a normal base coat or one that contains UV protection or anti-aging ingredients as well.

 Base coats are available in clear or whitish shades and you won’t see them on your nails when they’re dry — so feel free to choose any color you desire! If you want something sheer, opt for a tinted base coat that won’t obscure the look of the polish beneath it but will still protect your nails.

3. Gel or polish?

The type of mani you choose depends on the look you want. If you’re going for a bold look, use gel polish. It’s less expensive and lasts longer than traditional nail polish and it goes on thicker so there’s less chance of your nails peeling after removal. 

If you’re looking for something more subtle, opt for a traditional nail polish that dries quicker and looks more realistic. Then, apply your base coat as soon as the color is dry.

4. Color coats

It’s time to apply the color. Depending on which type of mani you’re doing, either apply thin and even coats or if you’re using a gel polish, apply thick even coats. During this process, remember to always do your nails in a well-lit area so that you can see what you’re doing!

 You want each coat to be thin and smooth or your nails may end up too thick or have an uneven surface. This can result in peeling, so be very careful during this stage of the manicure. Make sure the color is completely dry before applying the next coat (or if you’re using gel polish, let it dry for at least one minute).

5. Second coat

Now, apply a second color. Because the base and first coat are already dry, you can choose a different color without worrying about staining your nails. If you love pastels on your fingernail, you should try a dark color on your toenails as well! Or vice versa — it’s always fun to experiment with colors.

6. Top coat

Apply a top coat for an extra polished look. If you’re using a normal polish, wait until the color coat is completely dry before applying the topcoat to avoid smudging your nails. If you’re using a gel polish, apply the topcoat after you’ve cured the polish under the UV light for two minutes with no base coat underneath (the curing process will seal in the color). Then finish by applying your favorite moisturizer or massage oil to give your hands and nails a little TLC!

7. Moisturize

Lather on the moisturizer! Moisturizers help keep your cuticles healthy and prevent chipping or peeling, while also extending the life of your nail polish. Plus, they’re great to use with gel polish to keep it looking fresh. And if you’re looking to revitalize your hands, then consider giving them a scrub with a sugar and olive oil scrub. You’ll love how silky smooth your hands feel afterward!

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