8 Steps to The Ultimate At-Home Manicure
Manicures and pedicures are one of our favorite pastimes. They’re relaxing. They’re calming. They make us feel prettier, cleaner, and more feminine. We love spending a few hours at the nail salon (and we'll book appointments weeks in advance just to make sure we can!), but with a few simple steps, you can recreate that same salon experience from the comfort of your own home!
We’ve all had to ‘touch up’ our nails at home a few minutes before a date, a night out, an interview, or even in between manicures. But the ‘real’ manicure experience lasts at least an hour, so when it comes to giving yourself a top-notch manicure at home, remember to prep your space, light a candle, shut your door, turn on some music, and set aside some time to devote to you.
Before we begin, though, we’d like to introduce you to the Bellasonic 4-in-1 Electric Nail File Set. It’s the ultimate at-home nail care tool, and its unique design and technology makes it one of the easiest ways to give you professionally-manicured nails from the comfort of your own home. Each Bellasonic Electric Nail File comes with 4 individual discs designed to smooth, shape, buff, and shine your nails...and to us, fewer tools + outstanding results = real satisfaction.
Are you ready to get started? We hope so! Here’s a list of the things you’ll need:
- The Bellasonic 4-in-1 Electric Nail File, of course!
- Acetone (pure, or strengthening)
- Cotton balls or pads
- Nail clippers, if needed
- Orange stick (or cuticle stick)
- Cuticle oil
- A small bowl of warm, soapy water
- Small hand towel
- Your polish color(s) of choice
Step 1: Prep your space!
We mean it when we say this: the ultimate manicure experience is only as good as you make it! Manicures are meant to be relaxing, peaceful, and enjoyable. So set your timer for at least an hour (yes, an hour!). Find a comfy chair and a solid table to work on. Turn on one of your favorite playlists. Shut your door. And get all of your supplies ready. There’s nothing worse than having to look for something after you’ve gotten started. Your favorite nail salon treats like the queen you are, and part of that means they have everything ready to go. Do the same for yourself, even when you’re at home!
Step 2: Remove all old polish with an acetone nail polish remover.
Some of us prefer pure acetone, and some of us prefer gentler acetone. The choice is yours, but remember, pure acetone is stronger because it’s more abrasive. It gets the job done faster and it seriously helps to remove stubborn polish (or gel, or acrylics), but it dries your nails and skin more than gentler polish removers. Pick whatever one you want to work with. The important part is that you thoroughly clean your nail bed. Even if you aren’t wearing any polish, swipe your nails a few times with a remover to get them squeaky-clean!
Step 3: Soak them in a bowl of warm, soapy water.
You only need to do this for a few minutes, but it helps to remove excess dirt or oil from your fingers and nails. It also softens your skin and cuticles, making them easier to work with. So soak away for a few minutes, and then pat dry with your hand towel.
Step 4: Treat those cuticles.
Now that your skin is softened, use your cuticle oil to give them an extra boost of moisture. Remember: your cuticles protect your nails, so don’t get rid of them! Use a cuticle stick to gently push them back to the base of your nail bed. If you’re a pro, feel free to trim the excess. If you’re not experienced with cuticle trimmers, though, stick with your cuticle stick. And don’t worry: you can use the Bellasonic 4-in-1 a little later to buff away anything you missed.
Step 5: Trim (or clip) your nails into your desired shape.
Use your nail clippers to clip your nails, if needed. Otherwise, get started on trimming your nails into your preferred shape. Use the Bellasonic’s Shaping disc instead of a standard nail file; the Bellasonic trims and shapes your nails more precisely than other nail files out there. While it’s usually best to file your nails in only one direction, feel free to move back and forth when using the Bellasonic. It’s designed to prevent the damage or burning that other nail tools can cause.
Step 6: Go smooth or go home!
Now that your nails are shaped, use the Bellasonic Smoothing Disc along the edges of your nails to fine-tune your shape. The Smoothing Disc can also be used over callused skin - it’s gentle enough, but still powerful.
After smoothing, use the Bellasonic Buffing Disc to buff the top of your nail beds and any excess cuticle. You’ve already pushed back your cuticles, so use the buffing disc on the stubborn bits and pieces that wouldn’t budge or that you weren’t able to trim. A few swipes with the Buffing Disc over the tops of your nail beds will remove any ridges or imperfections, putting your nails in perfect condition for polish.
Step 7: Polish, polish, polish (base, color, top).
The best things come in threes, and so should your polish: use a base coat first to protect your nail and to give your color something to cling to. Let your base coat dry for 1-2 minutes, then apply your first top coat. Three swipes of polish is key - you don’t want to overdo it or your polish can end up too thick. Let your first coat of polish dry for 1-2 minutes, then apply your second. We recommend letting your color dry for at least 5 minutes before applying your top coat.
Step 8: Look, but don’t touch!
This is one of the most crucial steps in your ultimate manicure experience: don’t touch a thing! Sit still and let yourself relax as you let your polish dry. Turn up your music, scroll through your newsfeed - but be careful when double-tapping! - or put on an eye mask and lie down for 15 minutes. The point is that you refrain from moving around. Remember: your polish is still wet and even the smallest movements can cause it to smudge. So sit still!
Feel free to stick your fingers in front of a fan for a few minutes (fingers pointed down), or stick them into a bowl of ice water. If neither of those are handy, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the final moments of your ultimate manicure experience! There’s nothing worse than smudging a just-polished nail, especially after you’ve taken so much time to get them into tip-top shape.
Once your polish is set, you’re good to go- so clean up your supplies, turn off your music, blow out your candle, and carry on with your day. But don’t forget to leave yourself a tip before you walk out the door...because as far as at-home manicures go, you just nailed it.