5 Steps To Give Yourself A Manicure Like A Professional

If you’re a lover of professionally polished fingernails, then I’m sure you know how expensive routine trips to your manicurist can get. Although they do amazing work, some of it can be done from the comfort of your own home! Whether you want to start taking care of yourself in between trips or want to impress your girlfriends at the next sleepover, check this guide out on how to give yourself a professional manicure!

1. Soften your hands

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The first step to a good manicure should start with your skin. Since you’ll be dehydrating the nail and applying polish later on, it’s better to get this step done first! There are different ways to soften and brighten the skin on your hands. One recommended way is to use a spa glove beforehand or overnight. These can be found at your local beauty supply store at affordable prices. Just apply some of your favorite lotion, put a pair of gloves on and relax!

2. Cuticles

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The first major step to getting your fingernails looking great is to take care of your cuticles. It’s best to apply a cuticle softener on each finger and let sit before pushing them back with a cuticle pusher. Once they’re all bunched up, you can go in with a cuticle trimmer to remove all the excess and reveal a neater appearance.

3. Shape your nails

Six different nail shapes illustrated: square, oval, squoval, almond, ballerina, stiletto


The shape of your nail will have a huge impact on what your manicure will look like. Some styles will flatter you more than others, not to mention, the length of your nails will play an important part in achieving your desired shape.

Tip: Trimming your nails is sometimes not necessary when you have a nail filer. Spend some time shaping your nails with it slowly!

4. Nail Polish

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The art of applying nail polish is one that takes much practice. YouTube is a great place to learn how to perfectly apply your polish. There are also other products at your disposal that will help with this step such as applying petroleum jelly on your skin close to the nail so that any mistakes will wash off later after your polish has dried.

Tip: How long your polish lasts before chipping depends on the steps you take to apply it. It’s recommended to dehydrate your nails before applying any coats by swobbing them with nail polish remover.

Tip: Basecoat, 2 coats of nail polish, and a topcoat is the best formula to maximize the look and longevity of your nail polish.

5. Aftercare

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Once your nails are trimmed, shaped and painted to your liking, it’s recommended to apply cuticle oil. This will help maintain the work you’ve just done as well as increasing the life span of your manicure. As days go by, manicures start to get duller and your skin loses the freshness from day one, so be sure to moisturize, trim any flaky skin around the nail and apply cuticle oil as needed.

Tip: Since my nails are naturally weak, they can become quite brittle if I let them get too long. Since I prefer getting gel polish only, in between salon trips I will opt to wear a hardening/protective topcoat on my bare nails instead of nail polish. When I want to let my nails breathe, I will opt for simply rubbing cuticle oil in my nails. This can also help to give your nails a break and keep them from turning yellow due to prolonged nail polish exposure.

Follow these steps to reduce your visits to the nail salon and keep your hands looking polished year-round!

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