Saturday, May 19, 2012

At Home Manicures: Tips, Tricks, Products

Pin It I get questions from time to time how to do a manicure at home, sometimes specifically how I do my manicures at home. I figured this would be a great post for the weekend! :]

Where the "magic happens"

Jump over for my products and methods!

Yup. That's my nail station. My Husband hates it LOL! That's what I'm stuck with until I get a desk! Just sucks it's gotta be half our dining room table BOOOO!

Let me diagram what everything is if you're semi-curious, if not move on lol.
- I have a Tupperware filled with polish removers, make up sponges, cotton balls, stamping and nail art items in Birchboxes, and some nail tools in the back. I need another one bahahah! Dollar Tree <3
- I have a mug filled with dotting tools, brushes straws, files, orange sticks, and other nail art things.
- I keep untrieds and base/top costs next to the Tupperware.
- The yellow egg thing is what I use for my used cotton balls. Sticky notes with my notes because I'm forgetful. A remover cap for when u do brush clean up.
- ANDDDDD a cardboard box I put polishes I'm done using in that need to put up (ugh).

I lay all this over some Barron's papers I get for free in the mail lmao, idk why I even get them...

Now into the good stuff!

These are all the products I use and roughly the steps I use them in:
1) I shape my nails. File, nail clip I do this with polish on or my nails come out all different haha I'm special. I use the nippers to clip off the parts of my nails that grow on the sides not so much for cuticles...

2) Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover and orange stick. I TRY to do this 2x a week, doesn't always happen though lol I hate doing this. (Sally H. Gel Remover, any drugstore)

With the larger pieces that doesn't get removed with the gel, I will use the nippers to gently clip off. I have REALLY dry hands and cuticles so I need the nippers to clean up a bit more sometimes but, I REALLY try not to use the nippers. (I got the nippers off eBay)

3) Acetone, remove polish and the gel. (Acetone, Sallys)

4) I wash my hands. Sometimes I use the Julep hand scrub again, because I have really dry/flaky skin. If I used a darker polish I'll usually use a nail brush too. (Juelp Hand Scrub,

Now the kicker. I hate cuticle oil. It's so messy and I get it EVERYWHERE! So one day I got the brilliant idea to use Chapstick. I've been doing this for months, works just as good and is SO much less of a mess! (doesn't matter what brand, sometimes I'll use Burt's Bees or Blistex)

5) Lastly I prep my nails for polish: I lightly buff my nails so the base can adhere. Then I clean my nails with Remove + by Zoya. Last, I apply my base coat. (Buffer, Sallys. Zoya Remove +,, Base Coat, Sallys)

And that's about it! I TRY to do that every time I wear polish and most of the time I do. Doing these steps make my nails look nice and my polish last for nearly a week (or longer).  I get a lot of girls asking me "WHY does my polish chip within X amount of days?!?!" My answer to that is polish prep. I wholeheartedly believe if your polish isn't staying on you're not prepping your nails correctly (no offense hahahah):

1) If you don't use a base coat, try that first. Plus this prevents staining of your nails, no one likes yellow nails! (PS: why are you NOT using a base coat??)

2) If that doesn't work, prep your nails with something to remove the oils which are probably preventing your polish from sticking to your nail properly.  I used to use rubbing alcohol, which works fine. I just prefer Zoya Remove+ because it isn't as drying and works great! Not to mention IF there is excess polish left over that the acetone didn't get, it also removes that.

3) If those 2 things don't work then try lightly buffing your nail to give the polish/base something to grip on to. Don't saw the ever living crap of your nail, just ligggghhhtttttly buff the surface of your nail it to make it not as smooth.

That's pretty much it! :] I hope this helps some of you with any issues you might have or gives some of you some new tips to try out! If you have any questions, I'm always happy to answer!

Happy weekend manicuring!

Until Monday,


  1. Great suggestions! Agreed that prep is crucial to staying power. IRL, I always have people asking me why my polish always stays/looks better than theirs, and then when I ask what base/top coats they use, they respond "what? what's base coat? What does top coat do?" lol! So thanks for the tips!

    1. Haha right? It's easy to forget about that, especially if you don't know about it! It makes sense since most brands like, Sally Hansen, that most people see only advertise a top coat. Glad you liked them!

  2. LOL...I thought I was the only one who uses their dinning room table. I can't even begin to tell you the acetone spots on my table. (: I like the Chapstick idea...never thought about that. I will definitely have to try that one.

    1. HAHA! Thankfully I don't have any yet! Hope you like the chapstick idea, it works for me!

  3. Hubby made me a big wooden tray, not because he loves me, because he is scared I will ruin the finish of the dining table :) I touch up my top coat every 2 days or so. First I wash my hands and clean my nails with a quick wipe with rubbing alcohol. Just to get any oils etc off. That way I can keep a mani till I can see a big gap from my nail growing out^^

    1. LOL! My husband is too lazy for that. I have SO much newspaper down luckily I haven't gotten to the finish yet... and luckily its only a $200 target table :P

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