How to Get the Perfect Manicure

August 24, 2013

Every girl loves to have a great manicure. However, going to the salon every week is extremely time consuming and can get expensive. After much trial-and-error, I’ve perfected the art of the at-home manicure. Gals, get ready to have great-looking nails and save your hard-earned dollars in the process!

What you’ll need:

The Perfect Manicure

Step One

Remove any old nail polish from your nails. My favorite method for doing this is to rip 10 tiny pieces from one cotton ball, soak each one in acetone and place on each nail. Leave on for at least 10 seconds. Remove each piece of cotton by applying a firm, downward pressure and sliding off the end of the nail. Most (if not all) of the nail polish should come off in one swipe.

Step Two

Soak nails in the bowl of warm water and white vinegar for 5 minutes. The vinegar helps to soften your cuticles for easier removal (even though your hands will smell vaguely like a salad). Apply cuticle oil to softened cuticles.

Steps 3 & 6

Step Three

Gently push back your softened cuticles with a cuticle pusher or orange stick. Most of the time, this will be the sufficient grooming your cuticles need. For truly unruly cuticles, carefully trim with a sharp cuticle trimmer.

Step Four

Cut and file your nails however you like. I like to keep my nails short and square, but that’s just my preference!

Step Five

Swipe each nail with a cotton ball soaked in acetone. The acetone dehydrates the nail plate and removes any residual oils to allow the polish to adhere better to the nail.

Step Six

Paint on Orly Bonder base coat. Make sure to paint all edges and corners of every nail. Allow to dry for 30 seconds to a minute.

Steps 7 & Final

Step Seven

Paint a thin coat of color on each nail. To achieve a coat that’s not too thick, wipe the side of the brush close to you 2-3 times on the lip of the bottle. Then, wipe the blob of polish on the far side on the edge of the bottle. Apply a small dot of polish on the lower half of your nail and carefully push the dot towards the cuticle. After that, quickly spread the polish on the rest of the nail in 2-3 strokes. Repeat on the rest of your nails.

Step Eight

Repeat step seven, making sure to keep the second coat thin as well.

Step Nine

Apply Essie Good to Go! quick-dry top coat.

You’re good to go! Your DIY mani should last you at least a week, chip-free!


P.S. The colors I used for my nails are Essie Wicked and Essie Good as Gold.