How to Make Your At-Home Manicure Last


While it’d be nice to run to the nail salon every week for a professional manicure, I think every woman should know how to do her own nails. But when an at-home manicure rarely lasts more than a day or two, it makes sense that we turn to the salon so often. The key is knowing how to do your at-home manicure as well as the professionals to make it truly last. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Just follow this tutorial below.


In order to make your manicure last, it’s important to start with a super smooth surface. Buffering your nails is the best way to achieve that. (You can snag a buffer block from any drugstore.) Next, as you get ready to apply your color, always wipe one side of the brush onto the edge of the bottle so that all of the polish wipes off of that side. You may want to dab the other side just a touch as well — you really only want a little bit of polish on the brush. Apply a thin first coat to all of your nails. (I’m using Essie Marshmallow.)

By the time you’re done with your first coat, your nails should be ready for a second. Again, apply a thin coat of polish. If it’s still a bit streaky, you can even apply a third. It’s better to apply three thin coats than 1-2 gloppy coats.

If you get the polish on your skin or cuticles, use your nail to wipe clean as you go. You can also wait till everything is dry, dip a Q-tip in nail polish remover, and use it as an eraser. I also recommend starting with the more difficult hand first. For example, if you’re right-handed, start by painting your right hand with your weak hand. Chances are, you’ll mess up more using your weak hand, so if you start there you’ll have your other hand free to clean up the mistakes.

Let your nails dry for a few minutes, then apply your top coat. A thin layer is all you need. Let them dry, and you’re done! With a smooth, well applied manicure, this should last you at least a week!

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Amanda Holstein

Blogger at Advice from a Twenty Something, Amanda Holstein lives in San Francisco, CA where she writes her modern advice column for the everyday, stylish girl. She’s not your high-fashion guru, she’s your friend who knows about the sale at Madewell and who’ll actually tell you if that shirt doesn’t look good on you (someone needs to, right?). Besides blogging, Amanda works full-time at Federated Media Publishing, helping some of her favorite online publishers do what they love.

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