How to Achieve The Perfect At-Home Manicure and Pedicure


I admit, I am a “girly girl”. From fashion and accessories to shoes and makeup, I love it all. I especially love those moments when I can pamper myself; however, I’d rather not spend the money to do so if it’s something I can do myself. Perfect example…manicures. 

Unless there’s a special occasion or I’m looking for a specific design on my nails, it pains me to spend the money to get my nails done. These appointments can also be more stressful for me than they are relaxing. Those 30-45 minutes always seem to drag. I find myself looking at my watch every 2 minutes. The shops always seem to be crowded, the phone is constantly ringing and they never seem to be on time, even when I have an appointment.

Since I’m a DIY kind of girl when it comes to manicures, I’m always looking for ways to “nail” the perfect manicure.

First, the essentials:

  • non-acetone nail polish remover and cotton balls -  Ulta's Enriched Polish Remover is a great choice
  • nail file
  • buffing block
  • sugar scrub to exfoliate
  • orangewood stick
  • cuticle oil - Butter London makes a great one!
  • moisturizer - The Body Shop makes ultra moisturizing body butters that will leave your hands feeling super soft.
  • nail polish (base coat, color, and top coat) - Essie is always a fan favorite! 

Now for some useful tips for the perfect at-home manicure: 

1. Use cuticle oil - I’ve read that keeping the cuticles hydrated is a good way to extend a manicure by at least three days. Cuticle oil is especially important during the colder months.  I admit, this is one step I often tend to forget so I now keep cuticle oil in my nightstand and apply it before bed.

2. Don’t soak your nails for too long time -  Due to the amount of moisture your nails can absorb, your nails can flatten out.

3. Don't shake - I was notorious for shaking my polish before applying it. Lucky for me, I read in a magazine that you should roll the bottle, never shake it. Shaking a bottle of polish can cause air bubbles to develop within the polish. This can cause air bubbles on the nail, which leads to faster chipping. 

4. Always paint the tip of the nail - When applying your base coat, polish and top coat – always paint the tip of the nail. You usually experience the most chipping at the end of your nails. 

5. When you smudge... - Have you ever gotten to the end of your manicure and you smudge a nail? If you’re shaking your head no, you truly are Super Woman. I’ve done this more times then I care to admit and it still makes me angry each time. To fix the area, simply dab a fingertip into your nail polish remover and dab the smudged area gently to smooth out the nail polish. You can then add a thin coat of polish and top coat and Voila! Your manicure is perfect once again. 

We are always looking for new ideas when it comes to DIY manicures. There are so many nail “hacks” out there now. If you have any suggestions, which you know to be true, we'd love to hear them!