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How to Do Your Nails at Home Like a Pro

Four simple steps to beautiful nails! 


Whether the nail place is still closed, or you’re just happy to keep that extra cash in your pocket, these manicurist-approved strategies will help you do your nails at home and get gorgeous in no time!

Achieving a salon-quality manicure at home is easier than you think — just follow these four simple steps from celebrily manicurist Chelsea King. (Plus, how to remove an old gel manicure!)

4 Steps to Gorgeous Nails

You can do your nails at home with a few simple tools: a nail file, honey, a base coat, a top coat, and your favorite color nail polish. Here’s how!

Step 1: Start with clean, polish-free nails and file them smooth, mirroring the shape of your cuticle for the most natural look.

Step 2: Soak nails and soften cuticles in a bowl with warm water and 1 tsp. of naturally-hydrating honey for 5 minutes. Remove, pat dry then gently push back cuticles with the tail end of a pen cap. “This promotes healthy nail growth, keeps polish off the cuticle and prevents hangnails,” explains Chelsea.

Step 3: Apply a thin layer of a base coat with a rubberized finish, like Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat ($8.49, Amazon). This gives polish something to hold onto, for longer lasting color. Let dry two minutes.

Step 4: Paint on two coats of the color of your choice — we like OPI Nail Lacquer in Bubble Bath ($8.69, Amazon) — and seal with a clear top coat, like Orly Glosser top coat ($8.22, Amazon). Then paint a “stripe” of top coat along the nail’s tip (where nails tend to chip first) to further lock in the polish.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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