Keeping up a polished appearance can be daunting. Although we are constantly telling ourselves to not judge a book by its cover, it is important to maintain a well-kept appearance. In business or in dating, people wit’s paramount to stay well groomed and polished. On the flipside of this are the steep prices that come with maintaining all that great hair, waxing and manicures.

We’ve compiled the steps necessary to achieve a salon worthy manicure in a DIY session at home. Read along for some main tips to focus on when giving yourself a mani, and some DIY nail trends that are works of nail art.

The Manicure

–       Clip your nails first if necessary, then, file your nails in one direction. A round shape is easier to grow out and will reduce snagging. Buff the tops of nail beds lightly with a nail buffer to create a smooth surface for paint to stick to.

–       Soften cuticles with lotion or oil then gently push back with a cuticle stick.

–       Exfoliate and moisturize your hands, then you’re ready to paint (don’t forget to avoid using the lotion on your nails before you paint!).

–       Apply a base coat to protect nails and prevent chipping. Then, load up on your favorite polish colour. Apply 2 thin coats, waiting a couple minutes in between.

–       When finished, clean up around the edges and apply a top coat if desired.

Extra Tips

1.  If you have a hard time staying within the lines of your nail bed, line your nails with petroleum jelly. The barrier will help with keeping your polish on track.

2. To brighten up your nail colour, paint a coat of white underneath your desired colour; the white will intensify whatever shade goes on top!

Nail Art Inspiration 

We are loving the “Negative Space” manicures. Achieve this look using tape cut outs or stretching an elastic band over your nail when painting.

Check out this short Sephora tutorial on how to get a stunning cutout manicure with a metallic finish.

A final look we love are these galaxy nails. Achieve this look by picking 2 nail polishes under the same shade umbrella. Paint them on in coats and instead of waiting to dry, mindfully blend all shades together with a makeup sponge. Finish with a top coat of white and blend it in.

(cover photo)