It’s mani-ficant!

With the vast array of nail polishes on the market it’s tempting to wear a different color everyday. If you’re like most of us and don’t have that big of a mani budget to go to the salon everyday, yet alone every month, you are your own manicurist. Here are some tricks to getting a salon-quality manicure at home (and no tipping required!).

1. Create a clean canvas
One of the tell-tale signs of an unprofessional manicure is swiping on the color and not prepping your nails and the surrounding area first. Soak your hands in some warm water then gently push back your softened cuticles with an orange stick. Then trim and file your nails until they are uniform in size and shape. Don’t forget about your hands. No one will be looking at your new teal tips if you have skin that resembles a reptile’s, so moisturize!

2. Apply a base coat
A base coat will not only give the nail lacquer something to adhere to but it will also stop your nails from getting stained. Nothing is worse than removing your polish and being left with yellow nails. Yuck.

3. Application is key
Once the base coat is dry, apply a consistent amount of nail polish to each nail. The best way to apply it is to first brush a line down the middle then do the two sides. Don’t apply too much polish since it will bubble and take longer to dry. You should apply a second coat once the first coat is completely dry.

4. Apply a topcoat
After you’ve felt like you’ve waited forever for the previous layers to dry, paint a topcoat over the color to give it maximum staying power. There are now a variety of topcoats on the market from holographic to matte to shiny, so have fun and experiment!

5. Wait!
With all the layers it will take a while to dry. To prevent smudging go watch TV to keep occupied. You don’t want to ruin all of your work now. After the waiting period, you can fix up any mistakes with a Q-tip dipped in a bit of nail polish remover.

Now with the money you saved, you can go out and buy a couple new bottles of polish for your next D.I.Y. manicure.

♥AUTHOR: HEATHER CICHOWSKI