You love the look of a perfectly polished manicure, but you don’t necessarily love the price tag or the hassle of a trip to the salon. Fortunately, mastering the right skills for an at-home manicure is easier and less time-consuming than you might think. To prove it, we made this video to show you how simple the process can be. All you need are a few tools, a little bit of dish soap, hand moisturizer and your favorite polish! Below, manicure artist Susie Rodriguez of Salon Lucid in Redondo Beach, CA shares her expert tips for salon-worthy nails at home.
Whether you’re going for a square look, rounded nails or more pointed tips, start off your at-home manicure by smoothing down any rough or uneven edges. Rodriguez says that “having proper tools is essential to getting started.” To shape your nails easily and accurately, she recommends “a natural nail file, with a rougher side for shortening length and smooth side for shaping.”
Add just a drop of dish soap to a bowl of warm water and let your hands and nails soak for a few minutes. This will help to loosen any dirt and soften up your cuticles!
Begin with a clean canvas. Gently scrape any dirt from underneath your nails. Dermstore recommends this dual-purpose cuticle pusher and nail cleaner.
Drip a small amount of cuticle remover onto each nail, and then gently push back your cuticles to create a smooth, elongated appearance. Rodriguez says, to make this step easier, “gently push back cuticles after bath or shower. The water softens them up so you don’t have to struggle.”
Massage moisturizer onto your hands to soften and nourish your skin. (Dermstore recommends Murad rejuvenating hand cream). If you still have previous polish on from an old mani, gently remove any polish after you moisturize.
Apply one layer of base coat to your nails. Next comes the the fun part—paint! Choose your favorite color and roll your polish between your hands, rather than shaking it, to avoid any bubbles. Begin painting at the base of your nails, closest to your cuticles. Swipe up the center and on each side.
When Rodriguez applies color she says the best way is to “use three strokes and on the next round get any spots you’ve missed. That way you keep the layers thin (which helps with chipping) and you’re not polishing over any polish that’s already starting to dry.”
Dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover and clean up any edges or polish on your skin. Wash your hands once your nails are dry to remove any excess acetone.
Rodriguez gives us some extra knowledge to really help us perfect our manicure technique.