Pro-Tip for a DIY Manicure

January 29, 2013 | By | Comments (9)


If you’ve been trying to save money by skipping the nail salon, here’s a tip that will make your at home manicure turn out even better. When painting your nails, start by painting your dominant hand. (If you’re right handed, paint the nails on that hand first.) That way when you’re painting with your weaker hand, you won’t have fresh (read highly-smudgable) polish on those nails.

I’m totally guilty of painting the nails on my left hand first, but starting with my polish change tonight, I’ll be using this tip. How about you? What’s your best at-home manicure tip?

Get a step-by-step guide and a video for how to manicure your nails here.


  1. Linda

    Here’s my tip: Before applying base coat, clean nails with cotton ball dripped in rubbing alcohol. It dries quickly and removes all kinds of residue so that nails are clean for polish application.

    January 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm
  2. Keri

    I’ve done this for years and it works! Also, try a quick-dry topcoat, such as “Out the Door” or Essie’s “Good to Go.” I can polish my nails before bed and still wake up smudge-free.

    January 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm
  3. Annie Nelson

    I always file my nails before taking my old polish off. It’s easier to shape my nails this way because the white tops of my nails are all crooked – meaning I end up shaping them crooked.

    January 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm
  4. angie

    I don’t know if I’m stating the obvious, but start painting the pinky first (for each hand). Helps avoid bumps/smudges during the painting process.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm
  5. angie

    Oh, and floss before you sit down to do your nails. :)

    January 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm
  6. Susan Dickinson

    Good tip from Linda! I have been using OPI Chip Skip but this is so much cheaper and probably contains the same ingredients. I’m going to try it.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm
  7. Kelweb

    Some good tips:
    1. Putting Vaseline on the skin around the nails helps remove polish from your cuticle after you polish (for any “oops”)
    2. Using a Base coat before polishing helps the nail polish last longer on your fingertips, and help to prevent yellowing nails.
    3. when applying polish on your dominant hand, rest the WRIST of your weaker hand on the table to help keep your arm from shaking.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm
  8. Teresa PerezGarcia

    Using a good crystal file helps me shape my nails quickly, and it gives a nice finish to my tips. No more snags!

    January 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm
  9. Michele

    Buffing your nails first helps to remove ridges and allows your polish to go on more evenly. I don’t do this every time as it can be time consuming but it helps to do it at least once a month.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

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