How to Give Yourself a Manicure: Best Self Manicure Tips

Recently I got my first “SNS dip” manicure at a salon. I opted for the cheapest place in town (big mistake) and went to a salon that looked + felt more like a family’s garage than an upstanding establishment (another mistake). I had no clue what to expect. First off, what the heck is dip polish??? That’s a story for another post. But long story short, my nails looked fabulous, but the chick *destroyed* my cuticles and made five of my fingers bleed. While I’ll definitely try SNS again…it won’t be there. HA. So I really believe in the beauty of a self manicure. For time, money, and care purposes. I lovelovelove a good spa trip, but when ya don’t have time to go, it’s good to know how to give yourself a manicure worthy of the salon-experience.

Let me preface this by saying I am, in no world, a nails expert. Anyone who has witnessed me doing my own nails can probably, in fact, agree that I’m more of a hot mess express with a nail polish bottle. When I’m in a rush, it turns into painting my entire first knuckle in the hopes that the nail part looks nice, so I can just “wash it off later.” HA. Slight exaggeration, but not really. 😉 If I give myself a hot sec to actually sit down and go through my entire process, the end result is SO MUCH BETTER (+ longlasting) than when I rush it. Lesson learned. SO. Here are my best self manicure tips for how to give yourself a manicure that looks the spa part.

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Ain't nobody got time (or $$$) for constant salon runs! Popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses shares how to give yourself a Self Manicure, with some of the best at-home manicure tips. Click here now for all the info!

THE BEST SELF MANICURE TIPS

  • First off…take biotin every day if you’re not already! This obviously isn’t a part of the self manicure process itself, but I think a hair-skin-nails supplement really does do wonders for maintaining your nail health and strengthening them over time. (I take this one currently!)
  • Second…vow to do the whole shebang. The cardinal rule when it comes to a good self manicure at home should be “HONOR THY PROCESS.” That is, if you want your polish to last as close to as long as a salon mani as possible!
  • Remove any old polish – I starting using “Delete All” and have never gone back – and I’ve gotten my girlfriends hooked on it, too! This stuff is magic, I swear. I first was intrigued because it promises to get off even the toughest of glitter polishes, all after a hot sec or two of holding your fingers inside the spongey center, you pull them out and VOILA – no mo’ polish. I was skeptical at first, but y’all…it really works. So for me being gogogo all the time, anything that saves a few minutes is a godsend in my book.

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

Ain't nobody got time (or $$$) for constant salon runs! Popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses shares how to give yourself a Self Manicure, with some of the best at-home manicure tips. Click here now for all the info!

  • Buff off the tops – If you’ve got any leftover glitter, shellac, or things on top that shouldn’t be there, buff ’em off before polishing anything fresh! Don’t go too rough, though, to not ruin the top layer of your nail enamel.
  • File the edges. Some filing tips…
    • Pick a shape: pointed, round, square, etc.
    • File in ONE direction – this is HUGELY important if you want to maintain the health of your nails (which you should)! Only file in *one* direction. Going back and forth in a sawing motion can cause splitting!
    • Hold the file flat against the nail while filing, or else you’ll thin the nail tip.
    • Don’t file too far into the corners or sides of the nail, since that can cause breakage.

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses

  • Help ‘dem cuticles! – I start off with a lil’ at-home cuticle treatment, cos they need R&R! Putting a cuticle oil on and letting it sit for a hot sec is a great way to maintain overall cuticle health, plus it preps them to be cleaned up and pushed down a bit. I’ve also read before that leftover cuticle oil can help with the clean-up process, if/when polish gets onto the finger at all. BUT, I’d rather try something that isn’t oil-based, where it risks being actually on the nail itself and lessening how well polish adheres. Ya feel? (I haven’t tried this yet myself, but this product supposedly works to clean up edge-messes!)
  • Wipe nails clean – Use straight rubbing alcohol mixed with a bit of water to do this. Avoid polish remover, since any leftover residue of it could cause the new polish to not stay as well.

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

  • OPTIONAL: Use some sort of nail strengthener! I’ve been using one called Nail Envy, but I mix it up depending on the current state of the mani. I’ve used anti-breakage formulas before, strengtheners, shine enhancers…there’s a plethora out there.
  • Base coat – Pro tip: Base coats and top coats are NOT created equal! Base coats are always stickier and thicker in consistency to help your mani last longer, and they have a resin in them for added strength. Using base and top coats make a BIG difference in how long your mani lasts, as well as how smoothly it applies, so I’d recommend it fosho. And if you’re wondering how to do a self manicure at home that rivals the salon, this step will do it for ya!

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

  • First coat – HACK: If your nail polish bottle is stuck and won’t open, run it under warm water! Start with one wide swipe down the center of your nail. Then aim for one swipe on either side of that to cover the entire nail! Some polishes have brushes specifically designer to cover as much of the nail as possible, which is FABULOUS, since in one foul swoop you can do the deed at once. (The Essie Gel Couture collections are like that, which is just another reason why I lovelovelove ’em!). Brushes to look for to fit that bill will likely be flatter and wider, and slightly angled to get the curved inner corners nearest your nail bed.
  • Second coat – Seal the deal! I recommend doing what the salon manicurists do in this step: Seal the tips, too. When your nails chip, they’re most likely chipping from top to bottom. Meaning, that top bond starts separating, and it creates the space to chip away at the nail and start fading downward. To prevent chipping as long as possible, swipe your nail polish brush horizontally along the tip after painting the rest of your nail. Yes, it’ll likely get all of your finger here, but I just clean it up after with a bit of polish remover or acetone on a pointed Q-tip and call it a day. 😉

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

  • OPTIONAL: Use a smudge fixer to smooth everything over before the final top coat. I have this one, and you just put it over anywhere that isn’t exactly smooth yet, either from bumping it, or from uneven polish application.
  • Top coat – Again, different than base coat! Top coats are thinner and have resin for added durability and longlasting daily wear. Unless a product specifically says that it’s a base AND top coat in one, opt for two separate bottles. (This is the one I’m using here!)

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

How to Give Yourself a Manicure - Best At-Home Manicure Tips, on Coming Up Roses - Best Self Manicure Tips by popular Philadelphia beauty blogger Coming Up Roses

I have a BOATLOAD of nail polishes, so I’ve tried everything from $1 bottles from Walmart to $22 bottles. Really, it depends on the process you use! $12 polish will still chip if you don’t properly clean + prep ’em beforehand, just as $2 polish will. I’ve found that it really depends on your routine + individual formulas, which lasts the longest.  For example, the Pure Ice gel line from Walmart is actually amazing. It’s not actual gel polish – it’s the Pure Ice Gel Shine with Gel Tech, and I just apply two coats of the polish and then one coat of the accompanying “lock it down” top coat, and BAM. Lasts at least a week chip-free. I also lovelovelove this Sally Hansen line, which is funny cos it’s one of her cheapest collections! And the line I’m using above – Londontown’s Lakur line – is really impressive. I was sent some in a PR package once and I’ve never looked back – it really lasts a long friggin’ time! And I just do the exact routine I mentioned above: base coat, two coats of polish, top coat. BOOM.

Do you give yourself a self manicure or do you opt for salon?

If you’ve got any self manicure tips that I didn’t mention, pleasepleaseplease let a sistah know in a comment below…I’ve got a looooong ways to go before I’m ready for my salon debut. As evident by my inability to paint in the lines – HA. 😉

AND NOW, I’m *super* stoked for this….

If ya caught my home office tour, you might’ve seen some black-and-white beauts on my feet – my Birdies slippers! Birdies are “slippers” for wearing around the house, but they look like regular flats…and are about a million times more comfy than regular flats. They have quilted insoles, so you can run around the house *feeling* like you’re in yo’ pooches (my word for bedroom slippers – ha!), without actually being in yo’ poochies. They’re basically THE shoe for anyone who works from home. Cos as much as I lovelovelove my heels collection (and you guys know, I LOVELOVELOVE my heels collection…), ain’t nobody got time for running around the house in stilettos. So, I teamed up with Birdies to give on of YOU guys your own pair! HOLLAH!

Enter via the Rafflecopter below – there are two required entries, and if you do both of those (they’re easy, I swear!), it unlocks a bunch of other easy entries for more chances to win. GOOD LUCK, babes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. Linking up with some badass blog babes: Mash Elle // Leopard Martini // Visions of Vogue // Marie’s Bazaar // Dashing Darlin

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