Perfect {at home} Manicure

I love a professional manicure- who doesn't? But when you are short on time and can't get to the salon or if shelling out the cash for regular manicures is adding up- why not give yourself the perfect one at home? 

pretty manicure

image via byrdie

I've got the necessities for a diy salon worthy mani. It's so simple, you really only need a few stellar products to get the job done. The best part? You don't have to trim your own cuticles. Word of the wise: leave that to the professionals. You don't want to damage them! But not to worry, you'll be able to slough them off with no trouble at all. 

Admittedly, I am terrible at painting my own nails- especially my right hand (as my left hand coordination is sub-par, to say the least) So, I enlist someone to help me, like my mom. We always have fun in the process. In fact, this is a total girls night in activity to do with sisters, moms, and/or friends. Just add some bubbly, silk pajamas, and re-runs of SATC. Sounds divine...

Here are the four essentials that will help you achieve a perfect, at-home mani!

easy at home manicure

diy mani : here's how...

First thing's first: cut and/or file your nails. I keep up with them regularly, but if you need to spend some time shaping them, go ahead. A good foundation is everything. I swear by my tweezerman crystal nail file

Now, for the MVP of this at home mani: the 60 second manicure scrub. This one product guarantees your manicure will be a breeze, I promise. Here's a fun fact: my first year of college, I worked for Bath & Body Works on the side. Yes, the cosmetics industry has been engrained in me from the beginning. I would always use this scrub at our sink and demo it on anyone who'd let me. And sure enough, they would buy it on the spot. You really have to try it to believe it. It buffs away dead skin and cuticles like nobody's business. It also leaves your hands so incredibly soft and refreshed.

Another at home mani essential is a multi-tasking base and top coat. The fewer products in my medicine cabinet, the better! I love this one by Essie. Make sure your hands are nice and dry before swiping on an even layer of base coat. Let dry. 

Pick your color, any color! Lately, I'm feeling the sandy pink nudes. Mulberry by tenoverten is flattering on all skin tones. Depending on how opaque your polish is, I follow this rule of thumb: two coats minimum, three coats maximum. You want to see the color on your nails but don't want the polish to be thick and gummy. A major no-no. 

Next, apply a top coat and let dry for a solid 15 minutes. Yes that long- more if you can sit still! The longer the better. I usually end up smudging the color if I sit for less than that. Relax, have some champagne, think happy thoughts, etc....

Finally, admire your glorious (handi)work, make sure your polish has dried sufficiently then slather on some luxurious hand cream. Give your hands a nice massage, just as if you were sitting at a chair in a salon. Better yet, ask someone to do that for you ;) 

If you're already a diy mani type of gal or even if you like getting them done professionally, this routine is for anyone and everyone. Four products, few steps and voila- the perfect manicure at home, demystified and streamlined.