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How to Do a DIY Manicure at Home

When you think about it, there are so many DIY beauty routines that you can do at home. There are countless recipes for face masks, sugar scrubs and gels all over the internet. Sometimes if you feel the need to relax, but you can’t go to a spa, hair, or nail salon, there are some useful ingredients in your kitchen that can be used to get the product you want. I’ve searched Google, YouTube, and Pinterest for many different hair recipes as I’m more familiar with doing my own hair than my own nails. My mom has her manicurist license, so she usually just does them. However, it was time to flip the script and give her a manicure. It was my first time doing a full manicure so it took a lot longer than I thought it would.

A Slightly Rough Start

So, I’ve done little quick manicures on my own hands where I’ve only really filed and painted so it took about 30 minutes. I figured adding some buffing and cuticle work would maybe be an hour top. When I get my nails done, I’m usually watching television, so I don’t pay close attention to what is being done. I probably should have though.

To start off the process, I soaked her hands in a Manicure Effervescent Soak from OPI for about 15 minutes. One scoop turned the water bright orange. A little temporary staining did occur due to how pigmented the soak was. Focusing on one hand at a time, I used a cuticle pusher to push the cuticles back and then a cuticle nipper to cut the cuticles and clear away the dead skin. My mom had a lot to say during this particular part. As a manicurist, she just had to make her own tweaks.

nail tools

File, Buff, Repeat

With her cuticles looking all nice and fresh, it was time to file and shape. I used the clippers on some of her longer nails before filing. You could file long nails if you want to but you might be there for a while. I personally found it a lot easier to file with the nails facing up and palms facing away as opposed to the palms facing down. This position made it a lot easier to see the nail while comparing it to others. Filing wasn’t as bad as cutting cuticles. I also used cuticle oil to add to the cuticle care, specifically for moisture. With the first hand all pretty and pampered, it was all clear to switch and repeat.

My favorite part of this whole process was the buffing. It might be because it’s quick and fast. I had no questions and my mom had no complaints. Bluffing blocks are always great to use. I used a buffer/filer combo to buff, shine and smoothen out the nail. The OPI Manicure Skin Renewal Scrub was used to massage and moisturize the hands. It smelled really good, nothing like oranges, despite the hue of the scrub itself. After removing the excess scrub with a brush, it was time to paint.

And We Paint

My least favorite part was the nail painting. My mom loves bright colors and since it’s spring, it’s the perfect time for some bright nails. She decided on a combo of pinkish coral, blue, purple, and white. Picking out the colors and applying the base coat was the easy part, but the designing process came with a few complications. The first plan consisted of 4 nails painted as a solid color with the 5th nail having a marble effect. There are multiple ways to do marble nails. The method I tried consisted of dropping different colors of paint onto the nail and then using the dotter as a way to create the effect. I should have done it as more of a water marble where you get a cup of water, drop the polish in the center, and then create a bullseye. The nail is dipped directly in the center. We had to go back to the drawing board since the colors ended up just melting together.

Plan 2: Ombre. I used the polish to paint a small foam wedge with horizontal lines, one color per line. I then rolled the wedge over the nail to create the ombre effect. This worked out much better although the colors weren’t as vibrant. Using a white base coat and then painting the ombre over the white would have probably made the colors pop a bit more.

nail polish
Bright Pastels

The Results

The painting and designing were done and it was on to adding the finishing touches. There were a few areas with some stranded polish that I had to clean up around my mom’s nails. After cleaning the nails and adding the top coat to help with drying, my first manicure was completed. You can see the results below.

My mom ended up scoring me a 7/10 which I was a little surprised by but happy with. Besides that, the really only surprising part was that this manicure took longer than I thought it would. I still enjoyed giving my mom a manicure though. It’ll go a lot smoother next time. I would love to try making my own scrubs and using more natural products.

Would you want to try a DIY manicure or better yet, what’s your relaxing style? Let us know in the comments below!

Header Image Credit: Pixabay

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