10 Steps to Give Yourself an At-Home Manicure

There’s hardly anything more relaxing than getting a manicure. Personally, I find something so gratifying about looking down at my hands after I’ve just had my nails done. I feel more polished and put together. Everything in my life can be hectic and I could feel like I’m falling apart..

But if my nails are done? I somehow feel like there’s one less thing for me to worry about.

Manicures can be expensive, though—especially if you’re getting more than one a month.Learning how to give yourself a manicure at home can save you money and become a part of your relaxing, self-care Sunday routine.

If you want to give at-home manicures a try, follow the 10 steps below.

  1. Remove Any Old Nail Polish
    To start your new manicure, you first have to remove any old polish that you might still have on your nails. A fresh base is essential to making sure your nails look neat and clean. To remove your old polish, be sure to use a non-acetone polish remover to prevent damaging your nails over time. However, if you are wearing a very dark color or a polish with glitter, you may need to switch to an acetone remover to help get the polish off.
  2. Shape Your Nails
    Once you have removed your polish you’ll want to shape your nails. Make sure you file your nails before you soak them to help prevent any splitting or peeling. When your nails are wet, they’re more susceptible to damage. The shape you choose for your nails is up to you. Some people prefer squared off nails, fully rounded or even the more trendy “coffin-shaped.” A good rule of thumb if you’re unsure of what shape to pick is to mirror the shape of your nail bed (the area where your cuticle grows from).
  3. Soak Your Hands
    Before your trim, push back or remove your excess cuticles you’ll need to soak your hands in warm water. Make sure the water is warm but not too hot as you may further damage your skin. Before soaking your hands, add in a drop of shampoo or soap to the water to help soften your cuticles faster.
    Let your hands soak for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove Excess Cuticles
    When I first started to give myself manicures, I made the mistake of cutting off my cuticles completely. Don’t do this. The cuticle is what protects your nail bed from dirt and pollutants. To properly remove your cuticles, use a mild cuticle removal cream. This will only remove your excess cuticle and will not go all the way down to the nail bed (like cutting them will). My favorite cuticle removal cream is from ProLinc. This cream works in less than a minute and saves me so much time.
  5. Push Back Your Cuticles Or Trim Any Hangnails
    After you have removed the excess cuticles, you will want to push back any remaining cuticles and cut off any hangnails. Hangnails happen when the cuticle breaks. So to prevent any further breakage or pain, you will want to trim the uplifted cuticle back (just in that spot, though! Don’t cut off the entire cuticle!).
  6. Get A Good Base Coat
    Once you have pushed back all of your cuticles and removed any hangnails, you’ll want to apply a good base coat. My all-time favorite basecoat is OPI’s Nail Envy. This basecoat helps prevent my nails from splitting and has actually strengthened my nails over time.
  7. Pick An Awesome Color
    Once you’ve applied your base coat and allowed it to dry, it’s time to actually paint your nails! So pick out an awesome color and get painting!
  8. Finish It Off With A Top Coat
    Once your polish is completely dry, finish it off with a good top coat. You can get one that adds extra shine or makes the polish matte. It’s up to you! Just be sure you use one to ensure you lengthen the life of your polish.
  9. Keep Your Cuticles Moisturized
    When your polish is dry, make sure you finish everything off with a good hand cream or cuticle oil. By making sure your hands are properly moisturized, this will prevent hangnails in the future and keep your skin soft.
  10. Stay Hydrated
    Proper hydration is often an overlooked component of skin and nail health. Soft skin starts from the inside out. So if you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, then your skin and nail health will reflect it.

If you follow the steps outlined above, you should be well on your way to doing your own manicures all the time and hopefully saving yourself a lot of money in the long run. Do you give yourself manicures at home or go to the salon? If you give yourself manicures at home, have you ever given yourself a manicure? Drop your comments and photos below!

Written by our lovely contributor Heather Ward!

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