The At-Home Manicure Made Easy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I do my nails at home all the time, mainly for convenience's sake. I also enjoy it because of the ease of being able to change my nail color based on my mood for the day/week, when I have time. Plus, painting my nails is super-relaxing for me.

Over the years, I've practiced painting my nails and perfecting the "at-home" manicure, and I think I've gotten it down pat. Granted, it's taken a lot of practice, trial-and-error, and smudging, but I thought I'd share my nail-painting process with you all. :)

At-Home Manicure Supplies




What You'll Need:
  • Base Coat
  • Color
  • Top Coat
Optional Items:
  • Nail Cleanser (from The System by Formula X for Sephora)
  • Orange Stick (for cuticles - I usually don't do this, but feel free to push your cuticles back if you wish)
Let's get to it! :)

1. Cleanse your nails/apply base coat.
Use your favorite nail polish remover to remove your previous color and residue that may have stuck around. I use a nail cleanser after removing polish, but a good swipe of acetone-based nail polish remover will do the trick. (At this point, you would also file your nails and push back your cuticles if you so desire.)

Once that's done, apply a single layer of your favorite base coat. I've had the best luck with stand-alone base coats over the 2-in-1 base/top coats, but feel free to use whatever works with your nails. I tend to need something stickier because nail polish tends to chip on me easily.

Let dry until it's not tacky if you tap it with your fingertips.

2. Apply color.
Pick your favorite nail polish color and apply two coats. How you apply it is up to you, but I start with a stripe down the center and spread the color out from there with what's on the brush. I do a fairly thin coat to start with, too, to prevent bubbles. Just be careful of the color streaking - the key is to have smooth layers. The second coat works the same way, but I'll make it a tad thicker depending on how sheer the polish is.

Let each coat dry until it's not tacky if you tap it with your fingertips. No rubbing or dragging against your nails - it smudges easier that way.

3. Apply top coat.
Once your color is dry to the touch, apply your top coat. I tend to use ones that are super-glossy. :)
Apply it the same way that you applied your color - start with a stripe down the middle, then work your way out.

Once it's completely dry, you're done!

P.S. Here are the products I personally use to get my fabulous at-home manicure:

  • The System by Formula X - This is amazing. If you go to your local Sephora store (or I'm sure they do this online, too), you can purchase this cleanser, base, and top coat set along with a color of your choice. Since the color is included, there's no extra charge. AWESOME.
  • Tweezerman Nail Files - It's super-easy to find nail files in sets and in a variety of colors. I love the ombré ones featured here.
  • OPI, Essie, Formula X for Sephora, Butter London, ORLY, Maybelline Color Show, Sally Hansen Triple Shine, Ciate, Nails Inc., and TopShop nail polishes - These are all of my favorite nail polish brands and lines. :) I've had the best luck wearing these formulas.

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