How To Give Yourself A Manicure At Home

Can't go outside? Bring the nail salon to you

Jordan Cohen
Created by Jordan Cohen
On May 9, 2020
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By now your fingernails probably look like they were chewed off. If you dream about going to the nail salon the minute quarantine is over, it's definitely time for a manicure. With fears of smudging and making your nails look worse, it can be scary attempting to do your own nails. But with these hacks and tools, you can give yourself a professional mani in your own living room.

Step 1: Clean your nails

Try to go through the same steps your manicurist would - starting with taking off your old polish. Using a cotton ball or cotton pad, wipe your nails with nail polish remover. For taking off gel polish, first gently buff your nails with a nail file to remove the shiny coat. Then soak 10 cotton balls in polish remover and wrap each fingernail in tinfoil with the cotton balls underneath. Keep them on for 10-15 minutes. The gel should fall right off, but if not, soak for a few more minutes or push it off with a wooden nail stick. Even if your nails are naked, you should clean them with nail polish remover before painting them to get rid of access dirt.

Choose wisely

Make sure your nail polish remover isn't too old because it loses its strength. This nail polish remover works quickly and is enriched with vitamins to protect your nails.

You can also try this polish remover, that is acetone-free so it won't dry out your nails.

If taking off gel sounds like a huge project, try this kit that does it for you.

Step 2: File and shape

If you've been stress chewing your nails in between Zoom meetings, they need a clean up. Even them out with a nail file to whatever shape you like (round, square, almond, squoval). If they're really long you can also use a nail clipper before filing. Then buff your nails to smooth out the bumps and brighten them up a bit.

This pack can give you and whoever you're social distancing with the perfect manicure.

This block does it all. Buff, soften, and shine all in one!

Step 3: Cuticle care

Cleaning your cuticles is important to soften and remove dead skin, so don't skip this step! Apply a nourishing cuticle oil on your nail beds and then push the cuticles back. This will help protect your nails from germs and dirt, and we know that's very important right now!

Give your nails a spa day with this nourishing cuticle oil.

This tool is essential for getting a beautiful at-home mani. You'll feel like you're at the salon!

Step 4: Scrub and Moisturize

This is the part when they'd put a hot towel on your hands or make you go to the sink. Thoroughly wash your hands and nails (with an exfoliating scrub if you have) to remove excess dirt. Then moisturize so your hands and cuticles don't dry out. Finally, prep the nails by going over each one again with nail polish remover.

This hand lotion retains your skin's natural moisture, so it's perfect for pampering and protecting when washing your hands 25 times a day.

Step 5: First base

To get shiny nails that will last more than 3 days, apply a base coat on each nail. Let the polish dry for a minute before putting on more coats. You never know who you'll see on Zoom, so you'll want to do this step to prevent chipping.

You NEED this base coat for salon fresh nails. It dries quick, helps your mani last longer, and goes on so smooth. What more could you want?

Step 6: Pick your polish!

The best part! Finally. From pink, blue, red, and rainbow it can be hard to choose a color. But when you do, apply thin strokes to each nail, starting with painting your non-dominant hand. It can be hard to stay in the lines, but start at the bottom towards the cuticle and make sure to get both sides of the nail. Two coats is usually enough to get the pretty shine and color.

A classic! And if you smudge or get on your fingers, it's light enough so no one will notice.

Can't pick one color? Get a surprise pack so you can try out a bunch of pretty shades.

Step 7: Top it off

You know your mani is almost over when they put on top coat. This final layer of polish protects the nails from chips and gives it a final shine. Your at home manicure can last at least a week with this strengthening polish.

Get Insta ready with this top coat. It gives a final shine and will make your nails look great for your next photoshoot in the kitchen.

Let your nails dry for at least 10-15 minutes before moving on to your next quarantine activity. Put on Tiger King or Cheer, sit back, and relax.

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