Confession time: indulging in weekly manicures is too harsh for the wallet. A lot of you might resonate with the above statement. Wouldn’t you rather spend the weekly money on a dress from a luxurious fashion house or a pair of red-soled heels?

Excluding convenience and pampering, there’s very little justification for spending the big bucks on keeping the hand digits in perfect shape and size. Who has the time for weekly pampering sessions, anyway?

Irrespective of what weather conditions you’re currently in, there’s no hiding for these fingernails. They speak for who you are – clean, groomed and tidy nails define a modern and independent woman.

We’ve made the job easy for you and your wallet. has mapped out a visual step-by-step guide to recreate the magic of a manicurist in your own living room with almost zero expenses. A DIY home manicure. How good does that sound?

You can even adhere to the cinematic cliché and invite girlfriends over for a manicure, champagne and cheese night. These steps below will give you a professional-looking manicure with a side of bubbly and figs.

What you’ll need for a DIY home manicure

Nail clipper
Nail filer
Buff blocker
Cuticle trimmer
Cuticle pusher
Nail enamel remover
Cuticle oil (almond or coconut oil work as well – melted)
A bowl of warm water
Base coat
Top Coat
Nail paint of your choice
Cotton balls
Cotton buds

at home manicure tools

DIY manicure: the steps

Cleanse: Use a cotton wipe to remove any residue of the previous nail paint or manicure. Use a nail polish remover, if required. It’s very important to clean the nail bed, as super clean nails are the building blocks of a long-lasting manicure.

diy manicure cleanse

Trim and File: Next up, file the nails into the desired shape. Ideally, a nail should reach the end of your finger and not go past it. Square with rounded edges or completely round with blunt edges are the most popular shapes. This length suits almost every nail colour, be it a solid bold hue or neutral shade. When filing, remember to go in one direction only, if using a rough-grit filer. Don’t go in a seesaw motion on your nails, as that can trigger chipping and breakage.

diy manicure trim file

Buff: Buffing creates a matt finish on the nail, which is vital for increasing the adhesiveness of a nail colour. Gently rub the nails using a buff blocker. Also remember that this step can make you look very professional – bonus!

diy manicure buff

Soak: Once all the filing and trimming is complete, soak your pretty fingers in a bowl with lukewarm water and drops of natural rosewater. This will soften the cuticles for steps to come, and smell delightful as well.

diy manicure soak

Cut cuticles: Removing dry, dead skin from around the nail bed is vital for healthy looking nails. However, this demands practice, so only grab the cuticle cutter if you’ve been shown how to safely clip the dead skin. Otherwise, feel free to skip this step if you’re worried about cutting your fingers. We don’t like blood shed.

diy manicure cut cuticles

Oil the cuticles: Add a drop of cuticle oil to the nails and massage gently into the skin. If you don’t have cuticle oil, per se, feel free to use any gentle oil in the bathroom cabinet: melted coconut, almond or rosehip oil will also do the job well. This step will nourish the nail bed and promote healthy growth of nails.

diy manicure oil cuticles

Push back: Use a cuticle pusher and push the skin back from over the top of the nail.

diy manicure push back cuticles

Nourish: Apply a hand cream to the nails and the cuticle. This will soften the skin around the nails and nourish it after all the buffing, trimming and clipping. Before moving on to the next step of polishing, use a cotton bud to clear the nail of any cream or oil.

diy manicure nourish

diy manicure moisturise

Base coat: A base coat acts like a shield to your nail and avoids streaking of the nail colour. Don’t get lazy; slather your nails with a thin layer of this clear liquid for every time you paint your nails.

diy manicure base coat

Nail Colour: Shake the bottle well before dipping the brush into the liquid. Don’t overload the brush with product or it’ll splatter all over your nail. Hold the brush midcap so you have more control over the strokes. Go with the general rule of applying with a light-handed, three-stroke motion onto the nail. Apply two coats, giving enough time in the middle for the polish to semi-dry.

diy manicure nail colour

diy manicure nail polish

Topcoat: Seal the deal with a layer of clear topcoat. This adds a glossy shine to the polish, while also increasing the life span of your manicure.

diy manicure top coat

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