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keiralennox.com and related social media accounts may contain advertising and affiliate marketing links from ShopStyle; I earn a small commission for clicks and/or purchases of linked items. keiralennox.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Any gifts or services that brands/companies send to be featured on this blog are clearly disclosed as “Courtesy Of” or “c/o” in each applicable post. All views and opinions are my own, and if I wouldn’t use/purchase a product or service myself, I won’t feature it on the blog. Because friends tell each other the truth. Cool?

6 Steps to the Perfect Home Manicure

08/06/2014 22 Comments
A Pretty Penny | 6 Steps to the Perfect Home Manicure

6 Steps to the Perfect Home Manicure

08/06/2014 22 Comments

I love a good salon pampering sesh as much as the next girl, but I usually don’t have time to sit down for a professional manicure.

{Sometime soon I’m going to make time for this cherry blossom mani.}

Over the years, I’ve mastered the DIY five-minutes-or-less version of a basic manicure. It’s worth splurging on a few good products to get salon-worthy results at home, over and over again.

1. PREP. I like to start with a natural sugar scrub to exfoliate my hands and remove any dead skin from the cuticles. I never trim my cuticles; I condition them with avocado oil a few times a week before bed to keep them moisturized and gently push them back with my fingertips.

2. CLEAN. Next, I remove any polish and oil from my nails with acetone polish remover. I like Butter London Scrubbers 2-in-1 nail prep and remover pads; they aren’t smelly, and one durable wipe cleans all ten nails. At most, you may need two wipes if you’re wearing a few coats or dark polish. They’re great for travel or to stash in your purse for the days all your nails start chipping at once (how does this happen?).

3. SHAPE. I shape my nails with a medium file; usually round or squoval since I keep my nails pretty short for work.

Nail Shape Guide
{source: Beautylish}

4. PRIME. Good manicures are made in the base coat. I love Butter London Nail Foundation. It creates a perfect silky foundation for even color application — especially light pinks that can go on streaky — and used alone it’s like a clean buffed mani in a bottle.

5. PAINT. After the base coat dries, I brush on 1-2 coats of color. Essie polishes are my favorite, and lately Ballet Slippers and Enuff is Enuff are on regular rotation.

6. DRY. Ain’t nobody got time for wet nails. I didn’t think I’d ever find anything I liked as much as Essie’s Good to Go rapid dry topcoat, but their Quick-E Drying Drops are pretty awesome. It doesn’t dry as fast, but it protects from nicks, smudges and peeling and has silicone that adds shine. The foolproof liquid formula is really easy to apply with the dropper, and it makes my manicures last well over a week. I don’t even use a topcoat anymore.

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Keira Lennox

I'm a small town lady from the sunshine state with an affinity for bookstores, beauty counters and unfussy style. I spend my days running my flower shop, and my nights blogging about what I love and what I wear. (Or watching Netflix and drinking wine.)

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22 Comments

  • […] taken my manicures into my own hands for years — I shared my DIY manicure tips in this post back in 2014 — so I’m really good at painting my nails, but it wasn’t until I […]

  • This + That – Keira Lennox 02/05/2017 at 12:33 pm

    […] creamy beige nude nail polish is back on regular rotation in my DIY mani routine; I get so many compliments on the […]

  • […] Gel Couture nail polish display and it drew me in like a moth to a flame. I love a DIY mani (see: 6 steps to the perfect home manicure) and I think Essie is one of the best nail polish brands in the biz, so when they launch something […]

  • addictedtoirresistible 01/02/2015 at 12:48 pm

    Reblogged this on addicted to irresistible and commented:
    I absolutely love this post by A Pretty Penny!. I have always deemed myself awful at at-home manicures and I am usually in the nail salon every 2-3 weeks shelling out almost $40 bucks. You do the math. I really want to try my hand at doing my own nails and this post gives me great pointers to start. Thanks!

  • mira65 10/01/2014 at 5:04 am

    That was great!

  • Swetlana 10/01/2014 at 4:27 am

    Thank you for the nail foundation tip! Will check that out :)

  • […] 6 Steps to the Perfect Home Manicure. […]

  • elliespace 08/09/2014 at 4:13 am

    This is so cool, thank you so much. Could you possibly check out my blog?

    http://elliespace.wordpress.com/

    Thank you so much,
    From Ellie :)

  • haticedogan 08/07/2014 at 5:03 pm

    love this post!! It would mean alot to me if you could check out my blog and maybe follow me, it’s ok if you don’t want to. I did a review on the montagne jeunesse facemasks, babylips etc. I love your blog keep up the good work! xx hatice

  • violetluxe 08/07/2014 at 4:09 pm

    Reblogged this on LuxuriousUltraViolet.

  • fotosbyfranzi 08/07/2014 at 7:49 am

    Reblogged this on Fotos by Franzi Photography and commented:
    Today’s blog is a guest post from A Pretty Penny. She blogged yesterday about the 6 Steps to the Perfect Home Manicure and I thought I would share it. Everyone doesn’t have the time or money to pay to have your nails professionally done so check out these few tips to get the perfect at home manicure!

  • sirwin17 08/07/2014 at 1:36 am

    This is so helpful! As a fashion addict who is terrible at nails, I have noticed that my dodgy nails can ruin my outfits half the time. Will keep this advice in mind :)

  • moonlightchai 08/06/2014 at 8:29 pm

    Thanks for this! I’m a sucker for the salon but I can’t always justify spending the money. I always stick with square nails and for anyone reading those dry drops look GREAT! Fantastic way to avoid ruining your fresh mani!

  • cefashion 08/06/2014 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks! It helps so much!

  • chanedp 08/06/2014 at 3:44 pm

    This is great! Thank you! I have holidays now so I can finally do my nails!

  • Margot 08/06/2014 at 3:40 pm

    You might check out the quick dry top coat from Digital Nails (indie polish maker on Etsy), it’s literally called “Ain’t’ Nobody Got Time For That.” ;-).

  • Maja Estelle 08/06/2014 at 3:39 pm

    Just came across your blog and absolutely love your design :)
    Thank you for sharing your routine, especially that nail shape image is quite helpful as I never really knew what people meant when saying ‘squoval’ :)
    x Maja
    http://www.majaestelle.com

  • wifeslifeblog 08/06/2014 at 2:04 pm

    I never knew about quick drying drops. I’ll be investing in some of those!

  • Robin 08/06/2014 at 1:58 pm

    I can’t wait to try these tips.

  • cfsmis04 08/06/2014 at 1:47 pm

    I love doing manicures at home, thank you for the tips!

  • Cory 08/06/2014 at 10:58 am

    Thanks for the tips! I’m always looking for little ways to improve my at-home mani skills.

  • milesdontmatter 08/06/2014 at 10:32 am

    nice! I really like this because I don’t like going to the salon. I think people sometimes forget that they can still get a really good manicure at home

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    Disclosure

    keiralennox.com and related social media accounts contain advertising and affiliate marketing links from ShopStyle; I earn a small commission from clicks and/or purchases of linked items. keiralennox.com is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

    Any gifts or services that brands/companies send to be featured on this blog are clearly disclosed as “Courtesy Of” or “c/o” in each applicable post. All views and opinions are my own, and if I wouldn’t use/purchase a product or service myself, I won’t feature it on the blog. Because friends tell each other the truth. Cool?

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