These tips and tricks will help you make your at-home manicure look like a professional did it at a nail salon.

professional-looking manicure at-home
(Photo: Instagram/unhaseuros).

As you’ve gotten older, hopefully, your manicure skills have improved, and your nail polish collection has expanded. Remember when you first started using nail polish, and you had as much on your fingers as you did on your nails? And that was when you were using your good hand. You may not be able to render all of the Game Of Thrones house sigils on your digits, but you probably have a few tips and tricks to make your polish application look decent. So, what are your tips for making your at-home manicure look like a pro at a salon did it?

(Related: How Do You: Organize Your Makeup?)

I’ve found that you can’t skip steps if you want your manicure to look decent. If you don’t bother to make sure your nails are all a similar-ish shape and size, it doesn’t really matter how well you apply the polish; it’s going to look a bit off. Different-sized nails aren’t in fashion. Yet.

To begin, I trim and/or shape my nails with a file. I also make sure that I have not one speck of old nail polish on my nails because one little leftover bit becomes really obvious after you paint over it, especially if it is glitter. Then I push back my cuticles and use a four-step buffer on them. However, I skip the shine side. I always apply a base coat, then two coats of polish, and finish with a top coat. I also make sure I try to get the polish as close to the cuticle as possible so there isn’t that awkward space of naked nail between your polish and cuticle. Once the nail polish application is complete, I try not to do anything with my hands for at least half an hour, which is not easy. That is why I have started using fast dry drops to help speed the process along.

If I make a mistake, I try to clean it up right away with an orange stick and tissue. If I did a very messy application, I go around the perimeter of my nails with a brush dipped in nail polish remover.

Tell us in the comments how you make your manicure look like a pro did it.

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