Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

How To Get The Perfect DIY At-Home Manicure

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUM chapter.

Finding a good nail place in college, affording to get them done every two weeks, and taking time out of our busy school schedules to sit in an uncomfortable chair for an hour is a problem I know we are all facing. Why not order some nail supplies on Amazon and save yourself HUNDREDS of dollars? Scroll through Pinterest and get creative! Manicures are a great way to make money too! Charge your roommates and friends for a gorgeous manicure using these nine easy steps:)

  1. Put on a movie 

Sit in front of your TV or laptop and put on your comfort show or movie. Make sure you’ve seen it before, you don’t want to miss anything while you’re trying to focus! This adds some background noise and something to watch while you’re waiting for your nails to dry or cure.

  1. Gather your materials (& some paper towels) 

Make sure you do your manicure on a paper towel, trying to get polish out of furniture is not fun. Grab your weapons (tools) and choose your colors and design. It’s easier to have it all out in front of you then to run around getting things after each step. Now, get ready to work!   

  1. Nail prep  

Nail prep is a crucial step for long lasting nail polish. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just some nail shaping and cleaning to get your fingers ready for a makeover! First, start by removing any old nail polish or tips. You will want to give your hands a nice wash to remove any leftover chemicals or anything that will affect the new polish. Next, cut and/or file your nails to make them even and whatever shape you desire. Lastly, push back your cuticles (you can just use your fingernails to push them back—who needs extra tools?!) 

  1. Apply a base coat  

A base coat helps to create an even base that makes the color go on smoothly and last longer. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just apply an even and thin layer.  

  1.   Brush two layers of color 

Apply on two coats of your color of choice. Make sure to wait a couple of minutes to let it air dry or cure in the UV light if you’re using gel. Use about three strokes on each nail. Tip: to prevent chipping, swipe some polish across the tip of each nail. 

  1. Add a design 

Check Pinterest or TikTok to get inspiration for designs. You could dip a writing pencil or thin brush in some red paint to make tiny hearts or draw a white line across the tip of your fingernail for classic french nails. You could also order some white chrome powder to join in the glazed nail trend. The possibilities are endless! 

  1.  Clean up any smudges (not that you will have any) 

Clean up any color outside the edges of your nails with an orange stick with nail polish remover or just use your other nail to scrap it off. To minimize slip ups, paint your dominant hand first because it’s even trickier to use your non-dominant hand when the nails are wet with polish. Always work from your pinky to your thumb (it tends to rotate inward as you go and could get smudged). 

  1. Paint on top coat 

Seal up your masterpiece with an even top coat to seal and shine. Make sure to get all the sides, or else there will be some matte spots left behind. 

  1. Moisturize your hands with lotion 

Any old hand or body lotion will do! Give yourself the spa treatment and bring the salon to you! No one wants to have dry and cracked hands with a beautiful manicure. 

Enjoy your long-lasting, premium manicure!

Talia Navarro is a freshman at Loyola University of Maryland. She was born and raised in New Jersey. She attended Middletown High School South, the place where she found her interest in studying law. She took Business Ethics, Creative Writing, and Effective Oral Communication electives. At the end of her senior year in high school, she won three different awards for submitting writing entries. The pieces included topics of being a child of a first responder, growing up as a dancer, and her dream of becoming a lawyer. Her journaling fascination was sparked by her Dad at a young age. If she ever had a school paper, she would report straight to him. They would sit in the dining room for hours and work through her corrections and how to improve her skills. Whether it is a simplistic story about rescuing her dog or writing about the causes of World War II, he was able to excel. She still continues to aspire to have her father’s ability and reach his level of composing mastery. In her personal life, she has incorporated journaling into her everyday routine, to reflect on her gratitude and make affirmations to herself. She enjoys helping her friends and classmates edit their school papers. She does not have a professional background just yet, however, she hopes to build it soon! She loves to read books in her free time. Her favorite genres are fiction and romance, but recently she has found interest in thrillers. She enjoys exercising and staying active, whether that includes going for a walk outdoors or going to an instructed class. A guilty pleasure of Talia's is shopping. If you ever offer a shopping trip, just know her answer is yes! She also has a passion for hair and makeup. She is always watching tutorials and testing various makeup techniques. She loves to try out new hairstyles and find the best hair care products on the market.