Manicures can be expensive so we thought you’d appreciate some tips for the perfect DIY version. All you have to do is follow a few basic tips that I have outlined below and before you know it you’ll have the perfect manicure!

1) Preparation is key

Prepping isn’t something you’ll want to skip if you want a nail-bar-worthy mani! Not only nails deserve pampering, which is why you should reserve some of that good stuff for the surrounding skin too, and use a cuticle softening method of choice to ensure a painless clean up. Push cuticles back carefully, then gently buff the part of the nail they used to cover to remove any bits of skin and smooth out nail surface. Hangnails come next – they should be soft by now, allowing you to come in with your scissors and snip them off easily!

2) Shape, shape, shape

Amazingly shaped nails really make the difference between a good and bad manicure. Grab a nail file and file the sides of your nails first to ensure a clean, symmetric, elongated look and remove any remaining traces of hangnails, then either square the top or, if I’ve cut my nails short, file along the curve to make sure the line is completely smooth.

3) It’s all about the base

A great base smooths and perfects the nail surface, making the application much easier and the finished look much better, even when it comes to unforgiving formulas. It also helps the nail colour adhere much better, turning even the easiest to chip polishes into something you can wear much longer, plus it keeps your nails stain-free (ideal for dark polishes) and super strong!

4) Do it like the experts

This well-known manicure trick could save you a lot of brushstrokes, so keep notes and make sure you give it a test run the next time you decide to paint your nails. And with that said, here’s the big secret – three strokes! Place the brush parallel with the cuticle and as close as possible to it then pull to get a nice straight line along the centre of your nail. One brush stroke for each side and voila – you’ve coated your entire nail in just three easy strokes!

5) Clean up

Use an old makeup brush, a makeup brush you found too stiff to use for your face or even a small painting brush – it can be slanted or oval like a foundation brush and it will help you clean your cuticles and the sides of your nails like a true pro! Ever wondered how those makeup bloggers manage to have that perfectly shaped gap between their cuticles and nail polish? Well, this is how! Dip the brush into your nail polish remover and use smooth but firm moves to clean up your cuticle line as well as all stains (if any). It might take some getting used to but the results are so, so, so worth it.

6) Top coat

Now, all that’s left for you to do is apply a top coat. You can get a 2 in 1 base and top coat and save yourself the trouble of having two different products or opt for some of the many interesting clear top coats pretty much every brand has to offer. Apply it, wait for it to dry then wash your hands, gently pat them dry and apply a cuticle oil of choice! Voila! You’ve just mastered all the manicure tricks you’ll ever need in order to give yourself a seriously gorgeous looking manicure.

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