Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DIY Manicure Tips

My 2014 planner has a space on the Saturday/Sunday page to write down a memory from the week that I don’t want to forget.  Last week I jotted down the time spent with my sisters on Saturday morning and afternoon prepping for the pageant. 

We all did our nails, I did both sisters’ hair, and Melanie did Mary Katherine’s make up and helped me with mine as well.  Having all of our make up, rollers, curling irons, nail polish, hairspray, etc. together is always a fun treat (and a huge mess in the bathroom – sorry Mom!). 

We do share clothes sometimes, and in fact Mel wore Mary Katherine’s clothes to the pageant Saturday night, but we always share beauty products.  This weekend I played around with MK’s Naked 2 palette, and now she has both me and Melanie both wanting it!  Mel had some primer that she purchased for her wedding that was pretty miraculous, and it is definitely on my radar now.  It really makes me wish we could all three get ready together every morning and always have access to each other’s stash! 

Mary Katherine also has an enviable collection of nail polish… which is what finally leads me to the point of this post!  I did MK’s nails on Saturday, and then I did my own.  Today is Wednesday and my nail polish is still going strong without a chip in sight!  I figured that if whatever I did on Saturday resulted in me being on day FIVE of a chip-free mani, then it was probably worth posting on the blog. 


Step 1 – trim nails and file/buff with a block.  My block is from Walmart.  It is really ideal if you have a sister who is willing to do the buffing and filing for you, but usually I suffer through and do it myself since my sisters both live about four hours away from me.  It is important to really spend some time on this step to get a clean, smooth nail.  My sister Melanie is the best at it, so if you can ever convince her to do your buffing, you’re golden! 


Step 2 – base coat.  My favorite base coat is Scotch Naturals.  They have some really good polish colors, too.  Use base coat sparingly.  I only do one very thin coat of this.   

Step 3 – polish with color of your choice.  My favorite polish is Essie, and the color that I borrowed from MK this weekend that is currently still on my nails is “Mint Candy Apple.”  Pictured below is “Cute as a Button” since I took these pictures today and had to borrow a polish from my own collection.   


Step 4 – top coat.  The top coat I used this weekend is pictured with the white cap - Sally Hansen “Dries Instantly” Top Coat.  I do like it, and it does seem to be working, but my all time favorite is Sally Hansen “Salon Manicure” pictured above with the silver top.  This one can be a little harder to come by, and I haven’t been able to find it recently.  I usually stick to one generous coat of the top coat. 


This may should be step 5, but it is important for me to do my nails when I know I have a window of time to let them dry. Saturday I stood around and visited with my sisters and practiced pageant interview questions, but when I’m at home, I like to paint my nails early in the morning and then read or check email or do something on the computer/iPad for about thirty minutes or so just to let them fully dry and harden.   Happy polishing!


  1. Your nails look gorgeous, match you blog (hehe! :)), and your ring is spectacular!!!! :)

  2. Sitting around and waiting for my nails to dry is just about my least favorite thing in the world. It never fails I do them and then my phone rings haha.

  3. Good tips. I'm working on perfecting the manicure!

  4. The mint candy apple color is gorgeous! I always find it so difficult to sit still while my nails dry, but I bet reading while I wait would help the time fly by.

  5. I swear, we're on the same wave length! I was sitting at my desk today, thinking I needed to do DIY manicure research! Thank you!!