Salon Quality Manicures at Home


Happy #ManiMonday! There really is a hashtag for every day isn't there? #ManiMonday is one of my favorites though.  When I was in elementary school, most kids passed the time playing video games, rollerblading, or watching cartoons.  I got super into nail art.  That hobby eventually expanded to include all aspects of manicures.  One thing I've learned is that the right tools and products make a big difference.  I've developed a few favorites I'll go through, as well as a few techniques that make a quick, clean manicure simple. 

My list of "must-haves" follows:
  • Good base coat and top coat.  I love Seche's base coat and topcoat.  The topcoat goes on thick and smooth, dries fast, and keeps my nail polish perfect for days.  I can usually go 1.5-2 weeks before I need to re-polish.  Alternatively, CND's Vinylux line is another favorite.  It lasts me typically 2 weeks, and only requires a topcoat, no base coat.  Basically magic.
  • Quality polish.  I know, I'm a snob, but I'm convinced it makes a difference.  I favor OPI and CND.  I've tried Essie and China Glaze and been unimpressed with their longevity and coverage. 
  • Cuticle cream, cuticle pusher, and nippers.  I've linked the exact items I have of each below, and I swear by them.  Clean, groomed cuticles are one factor that really sets a professional mani apart from a DIY. 
  • Nail file.  I don't have any strong feelings about these (shocking I know...)

And on to a few items that are super convenient, but not required:
  • Quick-dry spray.  I swear by OPI's Rapi-Dry spray, plus a bottle lasts like a decade.  No seriously, I bought the big size nearly a decade ago and it's just now getting low.
  • Plastic backed cotton pads.  These handy little plastic backed cotton disks make polish removal SO much easier.  Plus they protect your nails, so if you're doing a pedi you won't ruin your mani.
  • Nail polish removal pen for all the oopsies.

Any handy manicure tips?  What is your favorite top coat and polish?

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linked up with manic monday with more pieces of me and on the daily express // #howifall with chacha and rachelle  // i would so rock this // style to inspire // monday morning gossip // sophisticated style  //  mix it monday  //  creative monday


  1. Great tips!! Thank you for sharing, I am soo bad at painting my nails! I love having them painted but hate taking the time to paint them. I'll definitely have to try the quick-dry spray because I never wait long enough for them to dry and end up ruining them!



    1. :) Thanks for reading! The quick dry spray is incredible. and the Seche Vite topcoat dries super fast and hard too. xoxo

  2. I have been testing out various non-LED gel top coats too! First I tried Sally Hansen Miracle Gel and then I picked up CND Vinylux because I heard that was good too. I like being able to use my regular polishes because it takes me too much trial and error to find the right, exact pink/red/etc. shad that I want and I don't want to have to go through the process again to discover a similar version in a gel line. Anyway, I always enjoy reading what products other people are using. So far the SH and CND gel top coats are running neck and neck for me on lasting time.
    Gina - On the Daily Express

    1. Oh! I've not tried the SH one, I may have to give that a go. Even when I find a beauty staple I'm satisfied with I can't help still trying other alternatives :) Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

  3. I stopped doing any LED gels because they really did a number on my nail beds..yellowed them and almost damaged them..but i love gel because it is so long lasting..so now i need to really try out the CND ones because i know my manicurist at Aveda can swear by it! Thanks for these tips..

    1. Oh no, that's no good! All my experience with CND has been great, so I'm sure their gel ones are excellent too! Thanks for reading! xoxo

  4. Wonderful post, thank you! Take care


  5. Love the red one <3

  6. This year, my new year's resolution was to keep my fingers painted, and I must say, I'm a bit addicted and I feel so dirty and naked when they're not! True story! I need to try that quick dry spray and plastic backed cotton pads! That's genius!!
    Carylee | morepiecesofme.com

  7. Great tutorial, red is my favourite colour :)

    Thanks for linking up #CreativeMondays

    1. Thanks again for sharing... featuring your post this week at the bloghop :)

  8. I love painting my nails and I love everything you recommend!
    Great tutorial!!


Thanks so much for stopping by! Your sweet comments make my day, and I read each and every one of them!

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