One of the best feelings is stepping out of the nail salon with freshly painted nails, making you feel like your best self.

Keeping this up every couple of weeks can get expensive, which is why learning to do your nails at home is kinder to your bank account.

Read my blog for a foolproof guide on how to do your nails at home.

Prepare your nails

There are 4 main steps when it comes to preparing your nails: Cleaning, filing, buffing and cuticle care.

Cleaning: You always want to start with clean nails by using a cotton pad with nail polish remover to remove any dirt, oils or old nail polish.

Cutting/filing: Cut the nail with nail clippers to the size which is best for you, unless you prefer to keep your length.

Be sure to cut the nails starting from the sides and never the middle to prevent splitting the nail.

Now to file your nails, decide which nail shape you like best, you can choose between an oval, square, coffin or pointed, If you can’t decide which you prefer, let your natural nail shape choose for you.

If your nails have a natural curve to them, usually rounded or pointed will look best for you.

Alternatively, if your nails are more on the straighter side then opt for a coffin or square shape.

Always file your nail from the side to the centre of the nail, avoid ‘seesaw filing’ in a back and forth motion, which can cause hangnails.

Buffing: Once you have your nails to your desired shape, the next step is to buff and smooth the nail bed.

Buffing the nails is a very important step if you want to achieve a nice smooth finish.

To buff your nails you will need to take a nail buffer and simply rub across your nail bed back and forth a few times until you can feel and see a smooth surface ready for the polish.

Cuticle Care: The last step of the preparation process is removing your cuticles, don’t worry it’s not as scary as it sounds.

Take a drop of your cuticle oil on your finger and massage it into your cuticles at the bottom of your nail bed.

Once the cuticles are softened you can gently push them back to help elongate your nails.

Now you must wash off the oil with soapy water because you are more likely to chip your polish if you have leftover oil on your nails.

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Application process


Finally, it's time to get painting!

You want to start with a thin layer of clear base coat and let it dry for around 2 minutes.

Once your base coat is completely dry, you can then pick out your favourite nail polish colour.

Lay your hand flat and steady to avoid any mistakes, and begin painting from the centre of your nail, working your way to the sides in very thin layers.

Lathering the polish on too thick will only cause bubbles and smudges as the polish will not dry fully.

You want to apply at least two thin coats of polish, and be sure to leave several minutes between each coat to ensure the nails are totally dry.

Lastly, a top coat is needed to seal the polish and give it that fresh shine; this step is vital to prevent your polish from chipping.

It’s recommended to reapply your topcoat every 2 days to help your mani last longer.

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Top 6 Best products


Not sure which products you should purchase for your nail art at home? Here are the 6 best picks!

  • Nail file

  • Cuticle cream/ oil

  • Gel nail polish

  • Basecoat nail polish

  • Topcoat nail polish

  • Nail buffer

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Doing your nails at home can look just as good as a professional mani with a bit of practice, so don’t give up!

Just remember, the number one tip when it comes to at-home nails is applying thin layers of polish and letting it dry thoroughly before applying another!