October 7, 2011

TUTORIAL: How to do a Basic Manicure At Home --- includes before & after pics

Hello, Beautiful!

I sometimes get emails asking me how I do my nails (all the steps before polish). I've wanted to create that tutorial for months now and I finally decided it was time to pull it together when I gave myself a mani earlier today.

This is my basic manicure... something I do at least once a week. If I have more time I will include a hand soak, hand scrub, and massage lotion into my hands. If I'm in a rush I will do steps 1 through 6 and polish from there. I also change up the products I use, but right now this is my current routine.

If you have any questions just leave a comment or email me.

Here is a photo summary of everything I do in my basic manicure.
Full detailed photos and instructions are also shown in this post.

My Basic Manicure Before & After Pictures
(please ignore the staining)

How To Do A Basic Manicure At Home

Now you're ready to paint your nails!


  1. Wow this is an awesome tutorial! Thanks!

  2. Very nice tutorial.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. great tutorial!!!


  4. Thanks for this fantastic tutorial!!! My routine is very similar (yours is better, of course :D) but I never seal my nail tips...
    Thank you for the advices :D

  5. Oh this is very nice and so helpful! Loved it !


  6. I use olive oil to nurish and remove/push back my cuticles! Anyway, I can see that your nails are stained from nailpolish, maybe you should change your base nailpolish because it isn't protecting the nails enough...

  7. so helpful! thanks for sharing!
    thanks for sharing
    Miss Starshiny

  8. Very good tutorial! Well done!

  9. @ Molkinaify: I use several different base coats, just depending on what I pick from my shelf and I don't keep track of what base coat helps prevent staining and what doesn't, especially because I use different polishes daily and some polishes don't stain at all. Others will stain through virtually any base coat.

    Staining happens, and I'm not really concerned about it. Sometimes my nails are stained blue, sometimes green, sometimes yellow, etc. It's easy to remove the stain either with a good buff, or using hydrogen peroxide. But like I said, it's not a huge deal to me; I correct staining when it's really bad but how they are now isn't enough to warrant a fix.

    I guess I should be more concerned with it, but my nails are always polished anyway so I never care :)

  10. Thank you. Great tutorial! How long do you wait between coats -- base / polish / second coat / topcoat?

  11. @ Jujubeoh: The length of time I wait in between coats really varies based on the polish I'm using. Some base coats dry very quickly (like Essie's First Base Base Coat) and others take minutes to dry (like Nail-Aid's 3 Minute Artificials).

    Basically, I wait until my base coat is dry before moving on. Then I apply my first coat and usually by the time I'm done applying the first coat to all 10 nails I will be ready to apply the second coat.

    Then I wait another minute or so before apply a quick-dry top coat.

    If I did nail art stamping or hand painted nail art, I wait longer before applying a top coat to avoid smearing.

    In general though, if you wait 2 minutes between each coat of polish you're usually good to go!


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