At-home Manicure That Lasts Weeks

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!:

Home Manicure


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.



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!).

You’ll need:

  • 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!


  1. Take off any old polish
  2. Soak your hands in the warm water one at a time
  3. After about five minutes, dry your hand
  4. Apply the Cuticle Remover to your cuticle area and massage in
  5. Let sit for about a minute and use the cuticle pushing tool to push back each cuticle
  6. Nip your cuticles with the nipper
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 on your other hand
  8. Wash your hands with soap & water, dry thoroughly
  9. Shape your nails with your nail file/emery board
  10. Buff your nails with the nail buffer to remove any bumps or discoloration until their surface is all nice and smooth
  11. Rinse your hands under running water again
  12. Dry your hands thoroughly
  13. Apply two coats of your favourite polish to both hands
  14. Let dry for a few minutes
  15. Apply one thick coat of gel top-coat
  16. Let dry for a few minutes
  17. Spray nail drying spray
  18. 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!

home manicure

*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.


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