I used to go for shellac manicures every three weeks, religiously. One day, I added up how much I’d spent over the year and I was floored by that $800+ price tag realization. I couldn’t help but think about how many other things I could have spent that money on or if I’d saved it. So, I made the decision right then and there to start doing my own home manicures again like I used to. I have healthy nails, I don’t need length, and if there is a special occasion I’d like a french look for, I’ll splurge for a trip to the salon.
But otherwise, I typically do my own nails, about every 10-14 days. I love how relaxing it is to sit on my living room floor at the coffee table while watching a movie, to do my nails and then give them enough time to dry.
If you have an at-home nail dryer or light for quick drying, I’d love to know what you use and if you recommend it (comment below!).
Here are my must-haves for my at-home manicure. Which, by the way, total under $62 and will last you for many, many manicures so you’ll spend SO much less than heading to the salon. So here we go!:
1. Nail Dryer spray $8.45 // 2. Nail Buffer $3.39 // 3. Nail files/emery boards $7.99 //
4. Cuticle Nipper (set with #5) $12.89 // 5. Cuticle push tool (came with #4.) //
6. Essie Gel Top Coat $13.29 // 7. Essie Skinny Dip Nail Colour $8.51 //
8. Instant Cuticle Remover Gel $6.99
I am also currently obsessed with this colour:Essie The Wild Nudes Collection’s Without a Stitch ($8.51)
You can see it on my hands on today’s Instagram post here.
PREPARE YOUR SPACE
I like to do this while sitting on a big pillow on my living room floor at the coffee table so I can watch a movie or some Real Housewives while I work my magic and give them plenty of time to dry so I don’t wreck them (that’s the worst!).
- a hand towel
- a paper towel
- a small bowl of warm water with a drop of essential or olive oil
- all of the above products including your favourite polish colour
- go to the washroom so that you can leave your nails to dry without wrecking them for as long as possible when you’re done
- a cup of tea or wine, whatever suits your evening fancy so that you don’t have to prepare it while having fresh wet nails!
STEP BY STEP
- Take off any old polish
- Soak your hands in the warm water one at a time
- After about five minutes, dry your hand
- Apply the Cuticle Remover to your cuticle area and massage in
- Let sit for about a minute and use the cuticle pushing tool to push back each cuticle
- Nip your cuticles with the nipper
- Repeat steps 2-6 on your other hand
- Wash your hands with soap & water, dry thoroughly
- Shape your nails with your nail file/emery board
- Buff your nails with the nail buffer to remove any bumps or discoloration until their surface is all nice and smooth
- Rinse your hands under running water again
- Dry your hands thoroughly
- Apply two coats of your favourite polish to both hands
- Let dry for a few minutes
- Apply one thick coat of gel top-coat
- Let dry for a few minutes
- Spray nail drying spray
- Let sit. Don’t touch anything! Enjoy your cup of tea and TV show or movie for at least 25-45 minutes to let fully dry
Like I said, if you’ve had success with at home lights or air dryers, link ’em up for me below, I’d love to try one out!
Happy nail painting!
*Contains affiliate links which just means I get a few pennies if you purchase one of the above products through my links. This is not a sponsored post.