Monday, June 6, 2016

Tools needed for a DIY At-Home Manicure

I love getting my nails done, as much as any other girl, but pampering yourself can add up and get pricey for my budget. I've always been a DIY girl, so with practice, I've been able to master the at-home mani with the help from a few tools. Keep reading to see how to pamper yourself at home!

Tools Needed:

  • High quality polish: My go to is the OPI Infinite Shine. It's a 3 step system for a gel-like finish, without the pain of curing with a light. 
  • Nail File: You can use a glass file, or an emery board, which ever you have around.
  • Nail Buffer: You can use a standard buffing stick or block, or use an automatic buffing tool like the Emjoi Micro-Nail (c/o)
  • Cuticle Oil: I like to use Argan Oil to help moisturize my cuticles, but any cuticle oil is also fine.
  • Cuticle Remover 
  • Nail Clippers
  • Cuticle Nippers
  • Body Scrub: Buy or DIY
  • (Foot) Lotion


  1. Fill your sink or a bowl full of warm soapy water to soak your fingers. I just use my regular hand soap for this.
  2. With an old toothbrush, scrub your nails in a circular motion, and don't forget to get the area under the nails. Add more soap if needed to get your nails extra clean.
  3. Use a scrub to help exfoliate your skin and cuticles. You can DIY one here.
  4. Apply a cuticle remover, push back your cuticles using a cuticle stick. Trim cuticles as needed using a cuticle nipper. You want to avoid doing this as much as possible though, otherwise you will continue to need to continue trimming your cuticles.
  5. Use nail clippers to trim your nails to the desired length and shape.
  6. File your nails to smooth out the edges from trimming. Further shape your nails as needed. I like an almond shape when my nails are long, or a squoval(square-oval) shape when they're shorter.
  7. Buff out the ridges on your nails using a buffer. I recently received this automatic buffer from Emjoi. It's super easy to use and you can be done buffing in 30 seconds. There's a roller that spins 360 degrees and gently buff away ridges, discoloration and adds shine. You can also use a standard 4-way buffer to get the similar results. 
  8. Wash your hands one more time after buffing to remove the "nail dust" and apply a moisturizing hand lotion and cuticle oil to your cuticles.
  9. When you're ready to paint your nails, swipe the tops of your nails with some acetone to remove the lotion and any excess oils that will prevent your nail polish from staying on longer.
  10. Apply a thin layer of base coat - my go to system is the OPI Infinity Shine. This is Step 1 of 3 steps involved in this system, and you can get gel like nails without the curing UV light. 
  11. Apply 2 thin layers of your desired color (Step 2).
  12. Apply a top coat (Step 3)
  13. Use a small brush or Q-tip dipped in acetone to clean up the skin around your nails of any stray nail polish. Voila!

** The Emjoi Micro-Nail was provided for review purposes, but the opinions stated in the post are of course my own.

Happy Pampering!


  1. You do such a great job on your nails! Great post!!

  2. Great tips! I always make a huge mess painting my own nails. I'm definitely going to try some of these!

    Evin Elizabeth

  3. I love these products you are sharing and your mani came out do perfect! Not sure if mine will, but I will give it a try! Thanks for sharing Mindy! Xo, Roselyn

  4. I tried these steps and found them very beneficial. thanks...

  5. Your nails look amazing! I seriously struggle doing my own nails :( I am so impressed with your at home mani skills, Mindy!
    xoxo, Jenna
    Boston Chic Party


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