6 Steps for the Perfect Manicure at Home

This post contains tips for getting the perfect manicure at home. Get into it!

When I tell people I do my own nails, they’re often surprised to learn that I don’t get them done at a salon. That’s right: I’m really about that DIY life when it comes to my self-care routine. I wasn’t always so savvy, but after years of patience and practice, I eventually learned how to give myself a near-perfect manicure at home. 

The tips I’m sharing with you today will help you perform a basic manicure. I hope you’ll find these suggestions helpful. These tips can be used to do a pedicure if you add an additional step for taking care of your heels.

Pandemic or not, doing your own manicures is relaxing. Waiting for your nails to dry is the perfect excuse to get out of doing things you don’t feel like being bothered with. Sorry, can’t wash dishes or fold laundry — gotta wait for my nails to dry!

6 Steps for the Perfect Manicure at Home 

  1. Shape your natural nails. Trim if needed, and file according to your desired shape. I personally prefer short nails with a square round shape. When my nails are long, I like them almond-shaped. 
  2. Take care of those cuticles. Apply oil to your cuticles, and push them back with a nail stick. 
  3. Using a pair of cuticle clippers, trim off the hangnails and visibly dead skin. Don’t cut too deep, though. 
  4. Wipe the nails clean with soap and water. Dry hands completely, and go over the clean nails with a swab of rubbing alcohol. 
  5. Apply a base coat to your clean, dry nails. And then polish, take your time to apply thin, even strokes. Be patient with this step! Alternative: skip the whole polish and dry process and apply a set of nail stickers.
  6. Sit still. Allow your nails to completely dry. Don’t touch anything for a minimum of 30 minutes. An hour if you can help it. 

Additional Tip: if you smudge your polish, start over at step 4 and reapply your color. And sit still so you don’t smudge! 

Are you comfortable giving yourself manicures? If you are, do you have any additional tips to share? If not, would you try it? 

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