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11 Steps to Get a Salon Quality Manicure At Home

• May 19, 2013


Our hands are one of the most used body parts. We use them to cook, clean, care for our loved ones, love, work and express ourselves. Our hands help us complete various tasks and most of us don’t give it a second thought. Just as our body develops soreness and strain from use overtime, so can our hands. Many people, especially women are prone to developing a repetitive strain injury called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In CTS, the median or middle nerve in the wrist supplies sensation to the wrist and all fingers except for the pinky finger. When the median nerve is compressed for any reason you will feel a tingling sensation throughout the areas that the median nerve serves. Regular hand massages can temporarily alleviate the tingling discomfort.

If there’s any part of our body that we want to keep healthy, we must care for it as best we can. When you do regular manicures your hands will look and feel great. Let’s find out all about how to execute a perfect manicure at home!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. A towel, a nail brush and a bowl (to put soapy water to soak your nails in)

2. A cuticle pusher (I am a cosmetology student so I use cuticle nippers on myself and clients, but I DO NOT recommend using a cuticle nipper at home, it is safer to use a cuticle pusher).


3. Lotion, cuticle softener, soap for water bowl, cuticle oil (I like jojoba oil or olive oil if I don’t have cuticle oil) and nail polish remover

4. Cotton balls, nail clippers, nail file, 3 or 4 way buffer



5. Base coat, nail polish of your choice and a fast drying top coat (I use “Out The Door”).


Now to the steps…

1. Remove any nail polish you may be wearing on both hands with cotton and nail polish remover.


2. Clip and/or file all of your nails into the shape you desire. Always clip your nails in two or three steps starting with one on each side joining at the middle, then you may clip the center if there is a point that you wish to remove. When filing your nails file in one direction to prevent splits.


3. Place cuticle softener on your nails on one hand. Let it sit according to instructions.

4. Put your hand in the sudsy water bath for 5 minutes. Scrub underneath your nails with the nail brush to remove any dirt or dead skin.

5. In gentle circular motions, push back the cuticle (transparent and white skin at the base of your nail).

6. Apply a small amount of cuticle oil to the base of your nails and massage lotion on your hand for 1 to 2 minutes.

7. Use the 3 or 4 way buffer to gently buff away any superficial grooves or ridges. The nails should look smooth and glossy.

8. Wipe away any debris with nail polish remover or soapy water.

9. Apply a base coat.

10. Apply nail polish.

11. Apply top coat then repeat steps 3–11 on your other hand.

All done!! I bet your nails look gorgeous.

Below are 4 of my favorite professional and bright Summer colors for people of all skin tones: red, taupe, royal blue and tangerine.





Enjoy your beautiful hands!

Have you tried an at-home manicure? How did it turn out? Share your pics!

For more of Domineque check her out on Instagram: lhdc2011 and YouTube, Longhairdontcare2011.

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15 Comments on "11 Steps to Get a Salon Quality Manicure At Home"

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Excellent post! I’m a lover of at home manicures. What is the name of the taupe nail polish in the photo? Looks like the perfect nude shade!



All I do is keep my hands lotioned and paint my nails only when I feel like it


I really love the way that the nails look but I find that everytime I polish my nails or get them polished in the salon it only last 2 days. I usually just wear clear on my finger nails and I get bi-weekly pedicures. Kudos to those who can keep up with it!! 🙂


Yes, I agree my manicures only last for 2–3 days most of the time…4 days if I am very lucky and use gloves for cleaning, and use hand wipes to clean my hands instead of water (unless I’m doing something very dirty like cooking chicken or using the restroom).


Great manicure but I often hear that soaking your nails is unnecessary (and makes your nails too soft) just wash your hands as you normally would to rid of any residue. I really like the royal blue manicure.

jenna marie christian

i am going to have to practice. her nails look great. I loved the blue polish.

Tiff Dizzle

My polish never looks that good when I do it at home no matter how neat I try to be


Same here :-/ And, I’m right-handed, so the nails on my right hand always look quite terrible, no matter how careful I try to be.

Cece Danielle

Ditto! I’m left handed and feel the same. Practice makes perfect I guess 🙂


Very lovely, but how do I get it as neat as those which are posted above? They look flawless!


The Gelous nail gel from Sally’s helps manicures last longer. Such nice pictures!


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I was hoping you included some sort of info regarding the colors used; what is the blue?!?!? i MUST have it!!! i have a similar blue, it’s a frost shade. I thought that one was vibrant; this is so striking and eye catching!


Good tutorial, but I skip the salon extras like soaking and putting 5 different lotions/oils on your hands. Applied on clean & dry nails, Zoya nail polish lasts for weeks with minimal chips. And keeps my nails from breaking. They’re nice and long now! It does take a bit longer to dry, though, since it’s free of dangerous chemicals.

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