How to do a professional manicure- at home!

Today I’m going to tell you…

An at-home manicure is possible with these steps and products!

This weekend was busy with manicures! So I thought I’d take pictures and share this approach with you. I learned this technique in college from a friend who learned it from an asian friend. It certainly beat the tape/band-aid method I was using before! I began using my talent to make extra spending money during school. Now I just paint my own nails… and now… you can too!

It’s all about the supplies. Here’s what I use.

At-Home Manicure Supplies

1. Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover
2. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails “White Tip”
3. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure No. 130 “Sheer Me Now”
4. Rock Top Coat
5. A lip brush – Not a paint brush! Not an eyeshadow brush! It’s got to be a lip brush! (Trust me. I’ve tried everything out there.) I got my lip brush at Walgreens.
6. Tweezerman “Pushy” Cuticle Pusher
7. Pure Acetone- No, you can’t just use normal nail polish remover. Any brand of pure acetone is fine.

Ok. First thing’s first. Take care of those cuticles! Use a cuticle remover and a pusher to tame ‘em down.

Cut your nails to a suitable length and file them into your desired shape. I like mine squoval (Yes, it’s a word. Google it if you don’t believe me!).

Remove any nail polish from your nails and thoroughly wash your nails with soap and water. Nail polish lasts longer on clean nails. Use rubbing alcohol to clean them further. This extends their life even longer.

Now for the painting. With white nail polish, paint the tips of your nails slightly thicker than you want your tips to be. If it looks thin and streaky, you’ll need two coats. Let them dry.

at-home manicure step 1

This is the magical part. Unscrew the acetone and pour it into the cap. Dip the lip brush into the acetone. Now “erase” part of the white polish by using a back-and-forth motion. This will create a smooth line. Try to make the line parallel to the curve of your nail. Continue this step on each nail making sure to keep the width of the tips consistent. (Sometimes if you get too much acetone on your brush, it will collect in the bottom corners of your nail. Dab your brush on a towel and place it in those pools. It will soak it up.)

at-home manicure step 2

Examine your nails from different angles to make sure they’re all the same width and that your lines are straight.

Paint one coat Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure No. 130 over the entire nail. Don’t skip this step. This is what makes it look like a salon manicure (No wonder- it’s the name of the polish!)

While the last coat is still wet, apply Rock Top Coat. If possible let your nails dry in the sun. This will make your top coat even harder.

Remove any polish you may have gotten on your skin using the lip brush and acetone.


French Manicure How-To

(Just in case you think your eyes are playing tricks on you, there not. This “after” picture is a different person than the one pictured in the steps!)

Even after your nails feel dry to touch, be careful! They may feel dry, but treat them like they are wet for about an hour. Trust me. You will ruin them.

You are going to be amazed with yourself and your masterpiece! I just know people are going to say, “Oh! You got your nails done!”

Let me know how it goes! What’s your beauty secret?

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  1. Carla Flores says:

    I love it! Can you tell me where you got the Rock top coat, also the name brand of the lip brush you use?

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I bought all the supplies for this and was surprised by the results! But in a good AND bad way. Firstly, the acetone made me manicure perfect! i got tons of compliments:) I was disappoinnted with “sheer me now” though. It went on thin, with streaks, and didn’t do anything to enhance my nails. Did I do something wrong? Mine looked nothing like yours in the picture…

    • Oh no! I hate that it was thin and streaky! That has never happened to me. Did you use the Rock top coat? The only think I can think of is to wait a little bit longer in between the “sheer me now” and Rock top coat. Don’t give up! Keep trying! I’m glad the acetone helped and you got compliments!

  3. I never would have thought to use a brush to clean up my “mess”. Thanks! Could you tell me which font you used on the first picture?

  4. brilliant… for one of the laziest people on the planet… this post is like a blessing!!! :) Thank you :))

  5. Reblogged this on 500daysofemily and commented:
    This is such a great tutorial! Definitely going to try it out!

  6. Stephanie says:

    I’m a licensed nail tech. This is fairly close to what I do…I do use different brands of products. I good quality base coat will help the manicure last longer! Great demo!

  7. You should try the top coat called Seche Vite. Completely dry nails in 5 minutes and super shiny too.

  8. Thanks for the tutorial! I’m definitely going to try this. My mil used to do nails and once told me a tip that might help. Put baby oil, vaseline or aquaphor on the skin around your fingers before doing your nails. The “oops” polish on your skin will slide right off.

  9. Thank you for posting!

  10. Beautiful! Looks so professional and perfect!

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I tried this last night and even without a really good lip brush it turned out to be the best manicure I’ve ever given myself. I found this on Pinterest and I’m sharing the pin on my blog today.

  12. Do you use the sheer me now #130 when you use a color polish or just for French manicures?

  13. terri theisen says:

    I put cream around the outside ofmy fringers so I get hardly any nail polish on my skin. Great for pedi’s.

  14. You nailed in with a wonderful posting with a bit of good information

  15. You can get a nail dehydrator at Sally’s too and apply just before you polish, it helps dry up any oil or moisture you have on your nails and you polish will last much longer!

  16. Ginger Pinson says:

    Fyi, went to CVS and most if not all Sally Hansen nail polish was on sale 50 % off!!

  17. This is great!! One question though, I tried this technique when I was much younger. It worked pretty well but when I went to do it a week later, my brush hardened out and I could not do anything to make it usable again. How do you prevent that from happening to your brush?

  18. alexis milberry says:

    this works great! but also, i tried using a Q-tip because i didnt have a lip brush.. it worked just as well, you just have to be more careful with it! :)

  19. be aware that the pure acetone does not just dissolve fingernail polish, it also dissolved the paint on my desk when i spilled just a tiny bit of it. just be careful with it!

  20. Jan Falk says:

    Do you have any tips for nail bitters?

  21. hello this is a really cool website but i nonly have 5 dif nail polishes i need at least 100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Can you get all these supply’s at Sally’s or do you have to go to like Sally’s, walmart, and walgreens.

  23. Alyssa J says:

    Can you do this with a black polish for the tips are well?


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