Last fall I went on a super fun work retreat with my husband out to California. All week before we were leaving, I fully intended to stop in at the nail salon and get a manicure pedicure. Well, it never happened. Then I convinced myself I would have time to get one at the resort once we were there. Nope. I was completely embarrassed about the condition of my nails all weekend! #firstworldproblems If only I had given myself a DIY Manicure!
So I promised myself to NEVER let that happen again. But since I don’t really have the time to get weekly mani’s nor do I want to spend the moolah, I have been working on perfecting the DIY manicure. I am a DIY girl after all, so why not a DIY manicure?
Since we were supposed to head to Raleigh a few weekends ago, I did the DIY manicure the night before we left. Here is what my nails started out like… because we all love a good before:
Ouch. And yes that is navy blue paint. Ey-yey-yey. (from a project I hope to finish and share very soon!)
But ^^^^^^^ that can be fixed at home! All you need is a couple simple tools and time. Time really is one of the most important ingredients to a successful DIY manicure. You need to allow yourself at least 20 minutes to do it right. But that is still way less time than it would take to go to the nail salon.
DIY Manicure Supplies:
- 20 Minutes
- Nail Clippers
- Cuticle Clippers
- Nail File
- Higher Quality Nail Polish– I like OPI & Essie. (I am sure there is much better stuff out there, but this does the trick for me. Idea here is to pass over the 99 cent Wet & Wild from the pharmacy. You get what you pay for people.)
- The MUST HAVE SECRET INGREDIENT – Nail polish lacquer top coat
DIY Manicure Steps:
- First, I clip my nails way down and then file them so they are smooth and round.
- Then I lather with lots of lotion. Let the lotion sit on the cuticles for a hot minute and then clip away any cuticles you can with the cuticle clippers.
- Then apply your first thin coat of polish. Let it dry. Apply a second coat. Let it dry. If needed, apply a third, and you guessed it… let it dry.
- Then once you have the polish all set, apply the nail lacquer top coat. It is important to let it completely dry so no smudges. The perfect activity while you Netflix binge #justsaying
DIY Manicure Tips:
Apply thin layers.
I like to do a couple thin layers. This is why you need to allow for plenty of time. Thin layers are less likely to smudge and seem to stay on better for me.
Brush your nail tips.
When using the polish, drag the nail brush all the way to the tips of your nails and get the edges. This will help prevent chipping.
Don’t procrastinate. If you are going out of town, DO IT THE DAY BEFORE YOU ARE LEAVING. I can pretty much guarantee you won’t have time (to do it right) in the morning before you leave. Or in the car on the way. Or once you get to your hotel. Not that I have ever tried any of these methods or anything. #doasIsaynotasIdo
Travel prepared. If heading out of town, throw the polish and top coat in your bag. A quick touch up is super easy and if your DIY manicure gets a chip, you can give them some life support.
OK, now onto the after:
I made a collage to show you days 1-5 of the diy manicure. As you can see by Day 5, the nails are past life support and chipped. But I am happy with 4 days- that gets me through a long weekend!
DIY Manicure Paint Color Recs:
Now the fun part- PAINT!!!!! Here are my go-to OPI colors. Don’t you just love the names of their polish?
As far as the lacquer top coat, as I was writing this post, I sadly realized that my go-to Chanel Lacquer Nail Shine is currently not available to order. (let’s take a moment of silence) I don’t know if that means it is discontinued forever but I went on the hunt for another option. This Dolce&Gabanna Top Coat looks to be a similar type of lacquer topcoat. It’s around the same price as the Chanel- I know it’s a little steep but it pays for itself in 2 DIY manicures If you want to keep it inexpensive, this Essie Top Coat seems to be a favorite with lots of good reviews, but it doesn’t appear to have the same “lacquer” finish. I am sure there are lots of good options here, but this truly is the secret ingredient in getting that salon polished look so don’t skip it!
Since I am planning to DIY my manis more often this year, I also have some fun colors on my wish list:
I don’t know what it is, but having my nails polished really does make the everyday feel a little more special. #smallwins
What are your tips for a DIY manicure? I would love to hear if you have any other tricks in your kit!
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