Skipping The Salon: At Home Nail Tricks

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We’re finally edging up to that season where we can toss our gloves and let our toes roam free, which means it also might be time to give our hands and feet a little TLC for the weather endured thus far. But instead of spending big at the spa or hours at the nail salon, we stopped by Target to gather our own essentials for welcoming in the sunshine and the many colors of spring, and you can too. (It’s easier than you might think!)

Below we’re detailing how to give yourself a salon-worthy manicure (or pedicure, just follow the same steps) from the comfort of your own home. With the money you save you may even feel like popping some champagne and inviting over a friend! To, you know, clink glasses …

… or paint that pesky opposite hand.

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Step 1. Gather Your Supplies

You’ll Need:
Nail Polish (We used Orly Color Amp’d Flex Color)
Topcoat (We used Orly Color Amp’d Sealcoat)
Emery Boards
Nail Clippers
Nail Polish Remover
Sugar Scrub + Shallow Bowl (Recipe below)
Pointed Q-Tips
Cottonballs
Towel

Step 2. Make Your Sugar Scrub
Mix together 1 cup of liquid coconut oil with 1/3 cup of coarse — the coarser the better — raw sugar in a shallow bowl. Make more if you’ll also be using this on your feet or want extra to store in the shower as an all-over body exfoliator. (Trust us, you will.)

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Step 3. Clean Nails
Use a cottonball dipped in nail polish remover to take off any old polish or dirt/grime on the surface of your nails, creating a smooth surface on which to lay your new color down. Use a pointed q-tip in the same way to clean up any stains along the nailbed and under your nails, as well.

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Step 4. Exfoliate
While this might seem like an unnecessary step, using a scrub will help to soften and remoisturize your hands, aiding in the overall “spa” like experience. Using a pinch of your previously made sugar scrub at a time, rub it into and over your hands as if you were washing them. Once sufficiently coated, rinse using a washcloth soaked in hot (but not burning!) water.

Step 5. Trim & File
Trim all of your nails so that they are the same length. Even if you prefer long nails, cutting them all to the length of your shortest nail will create a polished look and ensure they grow in uniform. (Besides, who wants a singular, extra long creepy nail?) Once cut, file the edges smooth to your desired shape.

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Step 6. Lay Your Color
The trick to painting your nails well is patience. Go light as opposed to thick, favoring a few coats over one glob of paint. Gently wipe one edge of the nail polish brush on the rim of the bottle before applying, then slowly drag from tip to cuticle, fanning out the brush to get even coverage on both sides of your nail.

Finish one hand in this fashion and then let that hand dry as you paint the other. Do this as many times as needed before you reach the consistency of color that you want. It usually takes a few coats to get the color of your nail to match the color of the bottle.

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Step 7. Add Topcoat
After all the time and work that you put into your manicure, why risk ruining it with a smudge or chip? That’s why we’re loving the new Orly Color Amp’d Flexible SealCoat — one coat over your color and it will automatically self-correct any accidental damages while it dries!

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Step 8. Clean Your Lines
Once your topcoat is set, go back around the perimeter of your nail with an additional q-tip dipped in remover. Clean up any paint “outside the lines” then sit back to marvel at your colorful work!

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What are your tricks for an at-home mani/pedi?

Images via Morgan Ashley Photography


This post is brought to you by the Darling Team! To learn more about who we are, please visit our Meet Our Team page.

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