14 March 2021 (updated)

Fast and Fabulous At-Home Manicures

Treating yourself to at-home manicures keeps your nails salon-worthy without being too much of a chore or too big of an expense.  The DIY manicure has been around forever but now there are more options to fit your life and style.

Fast and Fabulous At-Home Manicures

Anyone else looking around asking what small thing can I control? Here's an answer: your nails!

With many of us busy working and schooling at home, or being cautious about visiting businesses, salon trips are limited. Here are the best ways to get that fresh manicure look at home, or in the car (while someone else is driving!)

At-Home Manicures: Gel Manicure

Photo by @nightowlmanicures Gel manicure on-the-go with Le Mini Macaron

Yes, you can get those extra shiny, extra fancy gel-manicure nails without weekly visits to a manicuristLe Mini Macaron makes gel manicure kits that come with everything you need for the perfect gel look. Sets include a nail file,cuticle stick, gel polish, and an LED lamp.

The process is easy! First clean and file your nails. Then apply a thin layer of polish. Cure under the LED lamp. Apply another layer of nail polish and cure again. Done!

Dip Powder Nails vs. Gel Manicures

Photo Credit: Ashley Elizondo @theoilyagent

Dip Powder Manicures are not new but have recently become Instagram-worthy because of their salon-quality, long-lasting look. While Gel nails have a smoother texture than Dip Powder nails. But Dip Powder can last up to a month, whereas the best gel manicure usually lasts two weeks.

How does it work? Step 1: Apply a layer of Dip Powder Base Coat to your nails. Step 2: Dip nails in colored powder. Step 3: File and buff your nails apply activator Step 4: Apply two thin layers of topcoat.

While there are more steps with dip powder than with Gel manicures, no LED lamp is needed. However,  removing Dip Powder nails is not an all-in-one process: soak nails in acetone solution and then wrap fingers in aluminum foil. Then take an acetone-soaked cotton pad and remove the loosened polish.

Afterward, be sure to care for nails with a cuticle oil or cuticle cream.  Not a quick removal but if the nails last a month, it could be well worth the time.

At-Home Manicures: Sally Hansen Products

Photo by @jaquelinespadoni At-home manicure with nail polish from O.P.I., Impala, L.A. Colors, and Dermelect

It may not be salon-grade, but for my own nails, I keep returning to Sally Hansen InstaDry polish. Two thin coats of this polish produce a basic manicure and pedicure finish. I use a top coat after letting it dry and usually re-apply the topcoat again a few days later. This polish dries super-quickly and comes in a wide range of colors similar to Essie and OPI, for half the price.

Removal is easy with any nail polish remover and because the application is quick and easy, reapplying isn't a drag. (And you have to reapply often.)

Nail Wraps/Dry Nail Polish At-Home

I have endless childhood memories of my Mom painting her nails en route to events. Nail polish fumes overwhelm a minivan fairly quickly. Color Street Nails were invented by businessmen who watched women struggle to do their nails in cabs. This "dry nail polish" applies in minutes with no mess and last about two weeks.

Bonus? Nail Art is the norm with nail wraps. Seasonal designs, glitter, and mix and match patterns make these nail sets customizable and also great for gift giving.

Chances you know a Color Street Independent Stylist, as it's hugely popular in the direct sales field right now. But dry nail polish is also available on the retail level for a range of prices.

Tips for Lasting Manicures

There are a few tricks to make your at-home manicure look better and last longer. Always use a top coat and re-apply the topcoat after three days to make shine last and prevent chipping.

Feel like your right hand always gets the shaft (or your left, if you're left-handed)? This pop on brush handle takes away the shakes and awkwardness of using your less dominant hand.

And if organization is your biggest weakness in the nail game, invest in a polish organizer. Keep track of your polish colors and know what you need and when.

Treat Yourself (and Your Nails) at Home

Keeping your nails pretty and polished can improve your outlook quickly. Bold Eclectic Mom on the Street Margaret Keithley said it best," When I’m sweaty and in awful clothes at the gym, or running my kids to school (late) in PJ pants and a hat, all it takes it looking down at my nails and I’m reminded that really I’m a beautiful and put-together person who had to prioritize others ahead of my own real clothes, makeup, coiffed-hair routine that morning.

Feeling out of control? Keep those nails buffed and polished without leaving the house. Little things make a big difference. You use your hands all day long. Feel better by making helping those nails look fabulous.



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