Think you can only get a perfect manicure and pedicure at the salon? This article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to achieve amazing nails in the comfort of your own home. The best part is that you won’t have to spend a dime apart from initial expenditure on some nail beauty essentials.

So let’s get started.

For this DIY manicure/pedicure, the supplies you may wish to buy include:  

  • Nail Scissors

  • Nail File

  • Nail Buffer

  • Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover

  • Cotton Pads

  • Cuticle Oil

  • Hand Scrub and Moisturizer

  • Base Coat and Top Coat

  • Nail Polish

For acrylic and gel nails:

  • UV Lamp

  • Gel Primer, Polish and Top Coat

  • The best nail glue you can find

Optional:

  • Gems and rhine stones, nail stickers, nail art

It’s all in the prep

As in any beauty regime, the secret to a professional looking manicure lies in the preparation. Start by picking up your scissors, nail file and buff to trim, polish and shape your nails to the desired length. If necessary, gently push back your cuticles. For inspiration on nail shapes that are on trend you can refer to fashion magazines, online beauty blogs and even YouTube. Once you’re finished, use your nail polish remover to take away any existing nail polish.

Next it’s time for cleansing and exfoliating your hands. During this step, take care not to damage the skin. You can either use cleansing milk and an exfoliator from the store or make your own by combining refined sugar and coconut oil. If you’re giving yourself a pedicure at the same time, We Heart Nails recommend soaking your feet in Epsom salted bath water for at least 5-minutes to make them extra soft.

Ready to paint

Now you’re ready to apply the base coat. This is an important step and will greatly improve the longevity of your nail polish. After that paint on your favorite shade of nail polish. Repeat this step if you want. As a general rule, you should leave at least 3-minutes between layers. Finally, apply the top coat and your simple, fresh manicure is complete.

Gel nails

If you want to take your manicure a step further, you may like to try a gel manicure or gel nails. The first is achieved by simply using gel nail polish, which lasts longer than other nail polish (around 2-weeks). For this you will also need a UV curing lamp. First, follow the prep steps above. The only difference is that once you get to applying your gel polishes, you will need to dry or ‘cure’ your nails under the UV lamp after each application, starting with the base coat.

Artificial nails

To really take your manicure to the next level, you can try applying acrylic nails at home. These kinds of artificial nails are among the most popular services provided in nail salons but thankfully they’re also easy to do at home. For this look you will need a lot more specialist kit including a nail dehydrator, special nail primer, lint free wipes, acrylic powder and liquid and an acrylic nail brush. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various components before getting started.

The process, which seems complicated at first, can be quickly mastered. First prep the nails like you would in an ordinary manicure. Then apply the nail dehydrator, taking care to cover the entire nail bed. Follow up with the nail primer. Prepare your acrylic by mixing your acrylic liquid and powder in a dish. Dip you acrylic brush in the mixture. This step should create a ‘ball’ of acrylic on your brush. Press the brush against a lint free pad to drain off any excess. Apply the acrylic to the top of the nail and then move it down as desired. Shape it by pressing down on the brush, making sure that it gets distributed evenly. If you need more acrylic simply repeat the steps.

Hopefully these steps were enough to inspire you to try to perfect your manicure at home. Once you do, you’ll love doing it for yourself, your family and your friends. And who knows, maybe you’ll even make a career out of it some day.  

Published by Matthew Piggot