4 Tips for the Perfect At-Home Manicure

If you’re in a pinch and can’t make it to the nail salon for a manicure, don’t stress. Stock your beauty cabinet with the right nail-care products and you can give yourself an at-home manicure that rivals anything you might get at the salon. Here are four tips for more beautiful nails:

Heal Your Cuticles 
The thin skin that surrounds your nail bed is there for a reason. It protects your nails from infection. That means, despite popular belief, you shouldn’t be cutting your cuticles off. Instead, condition then and push them back for the easiest nail polish application. All you need is some hair conditioner or lotion. Apply it to your cuticles and use an orange stick to gently push them down and to the sides. 

Start With a Clean Base
To make your manicure really last, you have to make sure your nail beds are completely clean. For this, a good nail polish remover is key. If you can, steer clear of acetone. It dries out your nail beds, leaving them dehydrated and more prone to breakage. Instead, try a soy-based product. These Priti NYC Soy Nail Polish Remover Wipes ($10) are nontoxic and strong enough to get even glitter off your nails. 

Use a Ridge-Filler 
Oftentimes what makes your nail polish look amateur is skimping on a ridge-filling base coat. We like Formula X SMOOTH ($14). It evens out the appearance of ridges on the nail surface which gives you a supersmooth canvas to paint on. You can even wear it alone for a clean nail look. 

Be Inspired 
Sometimes giving yourself an at-home manicure can feel like a chore. Having an array of beautiful colors and bottles will make you want to paint your nails. With 109 gorgeous shades to choose from, we love Côte Nail Polish ($16). Inspired by life at the sea, these polishes are created free of toxins and can outlast even the sandiest beach day.