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Barbara’s perfect home manicure in 11 easy steps

Updated: May 24, 2020

Having a regular manicure for me is the equivalent of some of you going for a jog, massage or yoga session. There's a lot of comforts and feel-good-factor from having your nail salon ready, giving you the perfect manicure and colour.


Text: Barbara Mensah

Try these simple steps and surprise yourself at how easy and satisfying it is to do your own nails from the comfort of your own home.

1. Clean those nails

Find yourself a nail polish remover and attack what's left of all the patches of polish leftover from your last manicure. Use a nail polish remover even if you don't have polish on the nail beds, as this will get rid of all excess oil and dirt residue. Cute Nail Polish Remover - 38.95 DKK

2. Clip and file

Check the nails to see if they need clipping. Afterwards with a nail file, gently in one direction only shape the nails in the shape you like, round tip, square, oval. If you're not sure which is best for you, simply mirror the shape of your cuticles. Tweezerman mini emergency manicure set - 219.00 DKK

3. Soak the nails

Apply a rich cream along the cuticles. Grab a bowl with warm soapy water and soak the nails for 5-8 minutes each hand, this will help soften cuticles.

4. Push back the cuticles

Gently push back the cuticles with a cuticle stick. Trim any hangnails, but DO NOT clip off your cuticles as they are there to protect your nails from infections.

5. Exfoliate your hands

Either use a body or face scrub you already have in your cupboard or make a quick homemade scrub by mixing some granulated sugar, a few drops of water and a few drops of essential oils of your choice. (Lavender and tea tree are often the most popular for this purpose). Make enough to use on your forearms, hands and wrists. This will help eliminate dead skin cells leaving your hands feeling silky smooth.

6. Time to moisturise

The trick is to moisturise your hands and cuticles. This avoids the dreaded accidents of smudging almost dry nail polish. Take this time also to give yourself a gentle mini hand massage. Once done, wipe each of your nail beds with nail polish remover as this will remove any excess oil and prep nail bed for good coverage when you're ready to apply base coat and polish. Organic shea Butter - 150 DKK

7. Apply a base coat

A good quality base coat helps to prevent chipping of the polish and allows nail colour to last longer. Sally Hansen Base and Top coat - 69.95 DKK

8. Apply the first layer of colour

The moment you have been waiting for! Don't overdo it with the polish. Nice thin, consistent strokes will do the trick - a stroke in the middle of the nail bed and two thin strokes to either side.

9. Second coat

Be patient, let the last coat of colour dry, there's no rush. Wait a good 5- 6 minutes before applying the second coat.

10. Apply top coat

The topcoat protects the nails polish from chipping and adds a fabulous gloss, giving you that fresh, classy finish.

11. Clean up the mistakes

By cleaning up any mistakes, excess nail polish on the sides, a little file here and there, you will get the effect of a salon-style finish to the nails. Let the nails dry, and voila, you're ready for the world again!

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