Nails

The Only DIY Mani/Pedi Guide You'll Ever Need

A step-by-step breakdown to a salon-worthy experience at home

I have a few skills I'm not afraid to brag about. I can wake up at the crack of dawn after a late night/early morning of bar hopping downtown (grimace-free, in heels, and sharp as a tack). I can apply false eyelashes in a moving vehicle ... bus or cab, on myself or on someone else. I can be as proud of these so-called talents as I want, but when it comes to things like a handwritten thank-you note, applying red lipstick, or (getting to the point now) an at-home mani/pedi, I'm woefully inadequate. I'm talking kindergartener-meets-finger-painting-class.

Ironically, I give myself a manicure (or change my polish, at the very least) at least twice a week. It's my "me" time: sprawled out on my living room floor, filing, buffing, and painting my nails. But "doing" my nails and perfecting the DIY manicure are two different things, and if the red polish up to my knuckles doesn't prove it, my lacerated cuticles do.

So I reached out to the experts Katie Jane Hughes, butter LONDON Global Colour Ambassador, and Gina Edwards, celebrity manicurist for Kiss products, to come up with a comprehensive list of the steps to the perfect at-home manicure or pedicure. From removing your nail polish to finishing with a top coat, this is your ultimate guide to a perfect mani/pedi routine.

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