Steps to do Manicure at Home

A beautiful manicure just looks and feels elegant.

Updated: December 12, 2018

A beautiful manicure just looks and feels elegant. But the cost of salon manicures can be more if you want to do it often. If you want to save time and money on manicures, you will need to follow the essential steps given below for manicure at home in a fraction of the cost.

Assemble all Essential tools:

Be sure to have all the following assembled and ready before starting your manicure.
  •     Nail-polish remover and cotton swabs or pads
  •     Nail clippers
  •     Emery board and nail buffer
  •     Cuticle pusher and nippers
  •     Callous/cuticle remover
  •     Hand/nail moisturizer
  •     Base coat
  •     Nail polish
  •     Clear topcoat

Remove any previously applied nail polish:

Use a nail polish remover to remove any previously applied nail polish. Non-acetone nail polish removers are gentler than acetone-based ones BUT the acetone-based remover will work far faster and be in contact with the skin for a shorter period of time than the non-acetone based removers.
Therefore choose the remover carefully.

Shape nails:

Cut your nails in accurate shape and, if necessary, then gently file them. Usually a slightly rounded nail shape or square-rounded edge is preferred by most women. But you can be as creative as you want. Always choose a gently abrasive emery board or crystal nail file. Smooth the tops and sides of the nails with a slightly abrasive buffer to get an even surface.

Soak Your hand:

Place your hands in a bowl of warm (not too hot) water and add a bit of your gentle face cleanser or shampoo to the water. Soaking the cuticle before trimming is crucial. However, over-soaking can damage skin and nails. So do not soak your hand more then three minutes.

Apply callous/cuticle remover:

Applying a bit of cuticle remover when cutting away the thickened skin around the nail. Don't let it sit on the cuticle area for more than a few seconds as it can harm your nails.

Remove excess cuticle and callouses around the nail:

Gently push the cuticle back away from the nail using the cuticle pusher from your kit. Try not to push it too far because it can damage nail growth or fray the cuticle. Be careful not to pull, lift, tear, rip, force, or cut into the cuticle in any way. Simply nip off the free edge with a pair of metal cuticle nippers. As the cuticle helps protect the nail bed from all sorts of problems, do not clip into the cuticle.
Be careful while doing this step. Also remove hangnails around the sides of the nail, but again, be careful not to cut into the nail itself or to cut into the skin too deeply.


Gently massage a rich cream or silky oil into the cuticles and all over the hands to hydrate and replenish skin.

Preparation for Nail polish:

As moisturizer left on the nail will prevent polish from adhering properly, apply nail-polish remover using a cotton swab or pad over the  surface of the nail to remove any residue.

Don't shake the nail polish bottle:

Many bottles have a small metal ball inside that helps stir the product around. Shaking creates bubbles in the polish and can be seen if you apply shortly after. You should wait an hour before you polish if you do shake. Rolling the polish is preferable if you are polishing nails immediately. A combination of the two at the start of a manicure can be done as the bubbles have settled by the time you are ready to use the color.

Paint nails in layers:

Use a base coat of ridge-filling nail polish to shore up the nail if you have weak or brittle nails. A base coat also protects nails from staining and prevents chipping. This is especially important if you prefer red nail polish. Now, apply your color polish in layers. Make sure to allow each layer to dry between coats. Two coats of color polish followed by a top coat to add gloss should be applied. As globs of polish takes longer drying time and has a higher risk for smudging, use two thinner coats instead of one thick coat.
Take a few minutes to touch up your manicure every other day with a single layer of top coat to make the appearance good and durable.
Clean up any mistakes after checking and give time for nails to fully dry. You can gently use your finger to push polish back into place before adding a layer of top coat if it is smudged.
Don't use heat like from your blow dryer or the polish will chip and peel. Heat actually keeps your polish from firming. Also, don't put your nails too close to the airflow of fan as it will end up with bubbles in your polish.

Reapply moisturizer:

Moisturizer can keep your hands and the nail area healthy. So it is an essential product for manicure.
It is recommended to wear gloves when washing dishes or cleaning the house to extend the life of your manicure. Also use cuticle oil that helps keep the skin around your nails healthy and promotes healthy nail growth.

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