I love a good manicure, but when it comes to dropping money at the salon I prefer to spend it on pedicures. I’ve gone through Pinterest tip after Pinterest tip, trying to narrow down the best ways to get a perfect manicure at home. After plenty of trial and error, I’ve finally found a routine to get the most salon-worthy nails, at home.

1. Pick your color carefully. Yes, this is a tip. You can’t use $2 nail polish and expect to get perfect, salon-worthy color. Some of my favorites include Essie, Formula X, and Julep. I’ll be using Julep’s Mona for this tutorial – a beautiful, slate grey navy color.

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2. Preparation makes perfect. I love KISS products – especially their cuticle remover and nail tint. It helps get my nails perfectly ready for polish.

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3. Shape, shape, shape. The most popular nail shape right now is “squoval,” a combination of square and oval. This shape has been made popular by people such as Kylie Jenner, and combines the length of an oval shape and the angles of a square shape.

To get it at home, keep your nails long. File along the side with a natural curve, like an oval, and then use clippers to get the perfect square tips. The tip of the nail should be slightly smaller width-wise than the base.

The "squoval" nail is my current favorite shape.

 

4. Apply polish first at the base of the nail, then swipe up. This is a technique I’ve learned after carefully watching my manicurists. Add a drop of nail polish at the cuticle, then with quick, sweeping strokes, move the polish upwards. Don’t start in the middle or at the top, or it won’t be smooth!

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5. Collect the polish at the base of the nail again, and move up the sides. Similar to the third step, use quick strokes to take the polish to the edge of the nail.

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And of course, top coat counts! You will not get the right color, or shine, with a hardening top coat. I recommend the one by Seche Veche.

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