I very rarely get my nails done professionally, and since the pandemic started, I’ve only had a professional pedicure once.
I find that even when I’ve gotten my nails done at a salon (gel or normal polish), it doesn’t last longer than a week. For this reason and the cost/time investment (I know it’s supposed to be relaxing, but between driving there and sitting there for an hour or longer it’s a long time!), I prefer to do my own nails at home and have actually gotten pretty good at it!
The game-changer for me was when I started to use a cuticle remover and push back my cuticles. It just makes a manicure look more clean and professional.
I’ve painted my nails red 99% of the time for the last 2.5 years – crazy, right? I can’t seem to paint them any other color and when I try, I always go back to red. The color I’m wearing in the photo below is called red eye.
Here are the exact steps & products I use to do my nails at home:
- Remove nail polish – this ultra-powerful nail polish remover is my favorite because it works on darker/brighter colors and removes them more quickly. I always spend a little more on this brand because it works faster/more effectively, which means less cotton pads (I prefer cotton rounds to cotton balls).
- Trim nails – I use small nail scissors to trim my nails because I keep them really short (personal preference!)
- Remove & push back cuticles – I use this cuticle remover and this cuticle stick. You apply the gel to your cuticles and wait 15 seconds and then gently push back the cuticles with the metal stick from the kit.
- File & buff – I then use a nail file to file my nails. I love this set because it comes with buffing blocks too!
- Apply cuticle oil – if you have the extra time before painting nails, apply cuticle oil for a few hours.
- Nail prep – I use this nail prep on a cotton round prior to applying polish. It ensures nails are clean from any oils, etc.
- Polish – the last step is polish! I apply two coats of one of my favorite red polishes (see list below) and then I apply one coat of Essie’s gel couture topcoat. I usually just paint my nails in bed so I can relax, read, scroll while they dry.
Favorite Red Nail Polishes
I also have more of my favorite red nail polishes linked here.
I hope this post was helpful!