Manicure Must Haves 2.0

About a year ago I brought you my essentials for doing a salon quality mani in the comfort of your own home, which you can find here. Well, I’m pleased to return with a 2.0 version! And while most of my tips have stayed the same, some have changed along my journey as I have found new products that I prefer. I also prefer a water manicure vs waterless, because the sugar scrub allows me to wash away that nasty dead skin. Tips to both included,


Step #1 – Remove your current manicure

Personal Favorite: Zoya Remover +

Alternative – You can also add an acetone additive to pure acetone to help combat the drying effects and give your remover a more pleasant scent!

Tip – I still use Professional Remover 100% Pure Acetone by Onyx Professional from Walmart to remove suborn glitters and clean my stamping plates.

Step #2 – Apply cuticle remover to your cuticles (use as directed on package)

Personal Favorite: Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover from Walmart

Step #3 – Gently push back your cuticle

 Personal Favorite: orange wood stick 

Tip 1 – Wipe your tool on an alcohol moistened cotton square after each finger and;

Tip 2 – I prefer to push cuticle back as opposed to clipping them as clipping may cause irritation and/or infection of not done correctly.

Depending on your preference, see Step #4 for a Water or Waterless mani. I have added both options.


Step #4 – Now, that you have pushed back the cuticle from all 10 fingers, apply alcohol to a cotton pillow and completely wipe the entire nail

Personal Favorite: 91% Isopropyl Alcohol and Swisspers Cotton Squares both from Walmart

Alternative – If you don’t have or can’t get cotton squares, paper towels will work too.

*WATER mani*

Step #4 – Submerge hands into water, place a mani bomb or solution into the water and allow it dissolve. Drain sink and using an exfoliating sugar scrub, rub into hands (front and back) and onto nails. Rinse under warm/hot water and dry hands with a paper towel.

Tip) Fill bathroom sink with warm/hot water

Personal Favorites: Digit Dust from Vapid and Emulsified Sugar Scrub from Stella Chroma

Step #5 – Spoil your hands, nails AND cuticles with cuticle oil or balm and hand moisturizer

Personal Favorites – Cuticle Oils

Personal Favorites – Hand Cream

Tip – This step can not be missed! It’s a must for smooth, soft hands, not to mention, hands that smell great.

Step #6 – After your oil and cream have absorded into your nails and skin, apply a base coat

Personal Favorite:

  Tip – a base coat will help strengthen your nails, prevent polish from staining your nails and give polish a smooth surface to adhere to.

Step #7 – THE fun part…color selection and application!!

This step is meant to express your creativity and master the art of nail painting. Go ahead, I’ll wait! #insertwhistlinghere

Step #8 – Now that you’ve painted and possibly designed your nails, you’ll want to seal it all in with a top coat.*

Personal Favorite: Top Coat from Glisten & Glow

Step #9 – Finally, repeat Step #6

You’re all done!!!

Other Helpful Tips:

  • Do a complete manicure once a month
  • Apply cuticle oil/balm at least 3 times day (more if you wash your hand frequently)
  • Apply hand moisturizer daily
  • Wear protective gloves when doing house work or handling harsh chemicals
  • Cap your free edge to prevent chipping
  • Paint underneath your free edge with your base polish for added strength

“Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can!”

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Eat, Laugh, Polish, Repeat

Queen of Nails 83 💕

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