Chic At Home

The Art of DIY Nails: Basic Mani


An at-home manicure is a great way to brush up on your nail-painting skills. And Jen Tsourvakas (@the_jen_of_all_trades) of Parlour 3 absolutely nailed it with how to maintain a basic manicure while at home.

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Nail file 
  • Nail clippers 
  • Nail buffer  
  • Cuticle pusher (If you don’t have this, an orange wood stick or a Q-tip will work.) 
  • Cotton balls or paper towel (Paper towels because they are less linty than cotton balls!)  
  • Cuticle oil (olive oil and coconut oil work, too) 
  • Top coat 
  • Nail polish 
  • Base coat (Try CND Vinylux—it has a built-in base coat so less steps!)  
  • Nail polish remover  

Once you have the right tools, you can get started with Jen’s step-by-step process.

Step 1: Start by removing any old polish.

Step 2: Clip back to desired length.  

Jen shows us how to file nails to avoid snags.

Step 3: File nails in the same direction until your nail feels smooth and there are no snags. Not sure how to file nails correctly? Jen has you covered in this quick tutorial.

Step 4: Rub cuticle oil (olive or coconut oil) to help hydrate and soften cuticles. Then, push back cuticles with the cuticle pusher (orange wood stick or Q-tip).

Step 5: Buff nails of any ridges with the nail buffer or file.  

Step 6: Wash hands to remove any dust. 

And now for the polish:

First, cleanse your nails by using a paper towel and nail polish remover in a scrubbing motion. This step is key to degrease and clean the nails to prep for proper polish adhesion. Grab your favorite color and paint your heart out.

  • 1 base coat
  • 2 coats of color
  • 1 top coat
  • Once nails are dry, rub oil on cuticles.

Polish Like A Pro

Turn painting your nails into a work of art with these pro tips from Jen.

Use the three-brush method with each layer of polish. Start down the middle of the nail then go down, side to side of the nail. Painting nails is much like painting walls—the first layer should be thin, and second coat is meant to cover. Don’t be discouraged if your first coat of color is streaky and see through, the second coat will even this out.

Having a hard time painting with your non-dominant hand? Anchor your palm down on a stable surface to help keep your hand steady. If you make any mistakes, it’s okay use a cotton swab or toothpick wrapped in an acetone-soaked cotton ball cotton for easy clean up.

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