DIY Manicure

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We finally had some beautiful weather on the East Coast and spent most of Saturday outside which was truly fantastic- I am so ready for summer. Today I’m sharing some manicure tips because I always get asked where I get my nails done and to be honest, 99% of the time, I do it myself. It zens me out on Sunday nights and frankly, nothing is more frustrating than paying for a bad manicure that chips two days later.


  1. Start Fresh. I like to use a nail polish remover with a strengthener in it. This helps keep nails strong and minimizes breakage.
  2. File & Cut. File nails to desired length and shape. I always push back and trim my cuticles, too. If you’re nervous about trimming your cuticles, soak your finger tips in warm water and you’ll be able to see the dead skin surrounding the base of your nail.
  3. Buff. If your nails seem uneven or a little flaky, gently use a buffer like the yellow one pictured above. Caution: the more you buff your nails, you are essentially thinning them out. Unless you have grooves you need to remove, I don’t do this step as often.
  4. Wash. At this point, you’ve used nail polish remover, filed your nails and cut cuticles. Wash & dry your hands to remove any nail dust or remaining nail polish remover.
  5. All About That Base. I swear by using Seche Vite, top and base coat. Early in college, I had a manicurist who swore by it and I’ve been using it ever since. Using a base coat helps even out the color on your nail as well as helps out if you decide to remove the color. (Removing vibrant or deep colors without a base coat is a nightmare!)
  6. Paint. This is usually where people freak out. Ensure your base coat is dry, go slowly and use minimal brush strokes. The more strokes you use, the more likely it is that you’ll see them when it dries. I never paint all the way to my cuticle – I leave the teeniest, tiniest space and stop the brush a hair’s width away from my cuticle. When the color hits your cuticle, it’s likely to stain the skin and we don’t want that. I never paint more than 2 coats of color; any more than that and it’s likely to get globby. On the last coat of color, I brush polish on the tip of my nail. That is the key to avoiding chipping.


    Brand wise, I’m normally a sworn Essie Girl. I love their colors, brush size and the fact that it wears really well. Recently, I’ve been loving JRJ. Their nail polish is formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin and camphor FREE. Plus it’s made right here in the U.S.A. and in the great state, my home state, Ohio! The wearability is great and the colors are to die for. Check them out!

  7. Top It Off. After your color is dry, with the Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat, apply a thin coat to the nail and the tip of the nail to seal in the color. This stuff dries SO quickly but I always advise giving yourself a little time because even though it’s dry, your nails are still vulnerable to bumps or heavy pressure. And nothing is more annoying than messing up the manicure you just worked so hard on.

After a few trial runs, you’ll be able to whiz through this process in 20 minutes like a pro.
To make your mani last longer, be sure to moisturize your hands, especially your cuticles. Also, if you’re washing dishes or using cleaning products, throw on some rubber gloves.




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