DIY At-Home Manicure

Treating yourself to a manicure is one of the many simple ways you can practice self-care. If going to the nail salon isn’t an option, there are other ways to achieve it right at home. With the right tools and steps, here’s how you can give yourself the perfect DIY at-home manicure.

How to Give Yourself an At-Home Manicure

The Tools

Having the perfect DIY at-home manicure requires more than just slapping on some nail polish. It’s all about the prep work and having the right tools. Let’s start with the tools you’ll need to build your home manicure kit.

Steps for the Perfect DIY At-Home Manicure

Remove Old Nail Polish

You’re going to want to start off with a clean base. Remove any chipped polish left over. As tempting as may be to pick it off, use a cotton ball and nail polish remover.

Cuticle Care

If your cuticles get out of hand, don’t skip this step. The cuticle is a layer of clear skin located along the bottom edge of your finger nails. Massage a few drops of cuticle oil onto your cuticles and leave them in for a few minutes. Once they’re softened, use a wooden cuticle pusher to carefully push back your cuticles back. If you have excess skin, carefully clip them using a cuticle clipper. Cleaning this area alone will make your manicure look like it’s from the salon.

Cut, Shape, and Buff Your Nails

Using a nail clipper, clip your nails straight across. Make sure your nails are cut even and filed smooth with a nail file. Pro tip: always file in one direction! By filing back and fourth, this can actually break your nails. Last step for prepping your nails is to buff them using a nail buffer. Buffing your nails will give your nail polish something to grip to. This will make your manicure last longer.


Use a hand cream or coconut oil to moisturize your hands before applying polish. After massaging in moisturizer to your hands, use a little nail polish remover to clean each nail to remove residue from the cuticle oil and moisturizer.

How to Give Yourself an At-Home Manicure

Related post: How to Apply Press-On Nails


The key is to use a really good base coat to protect and strengthen your nails. After about two minutes, apply two coats of your favorite nail polish. Remember to wait a few minutes in between each layer. Final step is to seal it in with a nice top coat. Give yourself a solid 10 to 15 minutes for your nails to dry. If you have any smudges near the edges of your skin, you can clean them up with a little nail polish remover and a cotton swab.

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