Looking for ways to do a manicure at home? You’re not alone! With gas prices climbing sky high and employment still at it’s peak, more and more women are looking for easy ways to cut corners. If you are a woman who enjoys her weekly professional manicure, taking care of your nails at home is a great way to save an extra $20 a week. Manicures don’t have to be difficult or expensive, and can easily look as professional as when you would get them done in a salon. Plus, you don’t have to spend the extra time or money driving to your favorite salon.

Here is a list of everything you will need to get started:

  • Cereal Bowl
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Hand Towel
  • Gentle Hand Soap
  • Cotton Balls
  • Orange Stick
  • Cuticle Cream or Oil
  • Nail File
  • Cuticle Trimmer
  • Base Coat Nail Polish
  • Nail Polish Color in a Soft Pink Shade
  • Top Coat Nail Polish
  • Paper Towels
  • Moisturizer

Once you have all these things together, and find a nice table to work on, it is time to get started! Be sure to put on a great playlist on your iPod and have everything set before you begin to do your manicure. The last thing you will want is to nick your nails once they are painted.


  1. Use a cotton ball and nail polish remover to remove any debris you may have sitting on the top of your nails. A quick swipe is all you need, unless you have on a dark shade of polish, which then may require multiple swipes and multiple cotton balls.
  2. Fill the cereal bowl with luke warm water and some gentle, moisturizing hand soap. Soak your hands for a few minutes. I recommend not reusing the cereal bowl for food after this. Save it with your beauty supplies and use it only when doing a manicure.
  3. Once your hands feel a little softer, wipe off the access water with the hand towel. Then, proceed to file your nails with the nail file.
  4. After your nails have been filed to their ideal length and shape, it’s time for the orange stick and cuticle cream. Put the cuticle cream around each nail bed, and follow the instructions on the bottle. Some may tell you to wait for a few minutes before you continue to do your nails. Then, proceed to gently push back your cuticles around your nail with the flat end of the orange stick. You can then use the pointed end of the orange stick to gently remove any dirt that is under your nail as well.
  5. Next, you will use your cuticle trimmer to remove any loose pieces of skin from around the nail. Do not remove the layer of skin at the nail bed. This should just be pushed down with the orange stick only. Instead, look for pieces of dead skin and remove them with the trimmer.
  6. Once these steps are completed, use your favorite moisturizer and massage into your hands, focusing on all the dry areas around your nuckles and your nails.
  7. After the moisturizer is used, make sure that you remove the moisturizer from your nails themselves using another quick swipe with your cotton ball and nail polish remover. Otherwise, the nail polish will not stick on your nail.
  8. If you haven’t already, now is the time to take about two layers of paper towels and put them under your hands as to avoid any major spills with the nail polish.
  9. Begin with using the base coat of the nail polish. You don’t have to be perfect with the base coat as many base coats are clear, and if you happen to get some in the wrong spot, it will be nearly invisible to the naked eye. However, make sure you cover your entire nail. Once each finger is painted, wait about 3-5 minutes before the next step.
  10. Next, you will use your soft pink shade of nail polish. Make sure your hands are sitting flat on the paper towel. Begin by placing one dot of nail polish in the center of the nail and then stroking upward with the brush, the second time getting down to the nail bed. However, try not to touch the nail bed, as once nail polish gets between the skin and the nail, the manicure may begin to look unprofessional. Do two or three coats of this color, depending on the transparency of the polish, and the look you are going for. Before to wait 2-5 minutes before applying each coat as to allow them to dry. I recommended using soft pink polish as your color, as it is very forgiving in case you make any mistakes. If you use a bolder color, like blue, even the slightest error will give away that you did your nails yourself. I suggest only using bolder and darker colors once you have mastered painting your nails with softer shades. Wait five minutes.
  11. Finally, apply your top coat of nail polish, following the same rules as for the base coat. Most are clear, so this shouldn’t be that difficult of a process. Once you apply your final coat, sit back, and wait at least 20 minutes before picking up or touching anything.

Voila! There you have it. Now, you should have a beautiful, professional looking manicure that you did yourself, in the luxury of your own home. Enjoy, and know that you saved a couple dollars in the process. If you’d like to prolong your manicure, apply another layer of a top coat before bed in the evening, and every evening until you are ready to remove your polish.

As a couple of product recommendations, I would highly suggest using NutriNail as your polish remover, as it is incredibly gentle and scent free. Also, if you are looking for a great brand of polish, check out Orly. All of their polishes are DBP, formaldehyde and toluene free, and come in some great shades.