How to do a manicure like a pro

how to do a manicure like a pro at home

how to do a manicure like a pro at home

after manicure

A manicure was one of the hardest things to learn at beauty school.

I’m not kidding.

It wasn’t so much about it being actually that hard to learn – it was more like a mental battle. It was hard to internalize that a manicure is really just that simple and easy. Like – can we actually charge that? (Okay, now that I really think of it – it could be the that a manicure just felt so easy after all the other harder things we learned and studied. Still, it’s pretty simple.)


Before & after a manicure.

So, I thought I would show you how to give yourself a manicure like a pro. At home!

  1. Wash your hands and use a disinfectant. Just to start things off fresh and clean.
  2. Remove the old nail polish, if there is to do a manicure
  3. Give your nails and hands a bath. You can use any cup you have at home, but you can also buy a manicure cup from amazon (they’re pretty cheap). Make a warm bath for your nails. I usually use a moisturizing shower gel, foam or a shower oil. Bathe for about 5-10 minutes. This helps to soften your cuticles and nails and it also feels nice and relaxing.
  4. Push your cuticles using a wooden orange stick or something similar to that. Be gentle – this shouldn’t hurt. You don’t necessarily have to cut your cuticles – only if they’re really grown out or sticking out.manicure at home
  5. Shape your nails the way you want using a nail file. I strongly recommend getting a glass file, just ’cause it’s more gentle to your nails. With a glass file you can file back and forth without breaking the layers on your nails.
  6. Clean your nails with a nail polish remover. This is to remove any dirt and oils from the surface so that the nail polish lasts longer.
  7. Next it’s time for some nail polish. I recommend doing it in three phases: a base coat, two layers of color polish and a top coat. Let the polish dry in between layers. A base coat is super important, ’cause it protects your nails. There are different types of base coats – hardening, ridge-filling, moisturizing etc. Pick a base coat suitable for your needs. You can also use a 2-in-1 clear polish that can be used as a top coat as well. There are different types of top coats as well: quick drying or to manicure
  8. Add a hand cream to your hands and cuticles. A cuticle treatment is recommended too, I like using just coconut oil. Your nail polish should be dry before adding the oil. If you’re worried about messing the nail polish, let it dry before adding a hand cream. And that’s it. A good old manicure. The order of these steps may vary but this is the very basic routine.

blue manicure

+ Add two extra steps for A SPA MANICURE

If you want to do a spa manicure, add the extra steps of exfoliating your hands and doing a mask. Exfoliate your hands during the bath. A body exfoliator is fine. Exfoliating is recommended also, if you have dry skin. Apply a hand mask after you’ve filed your nails. If you don’t have a hand mask a moisturizing body mask is suitable too or just a thick layer of hand cream. Wrap your hands in plastic and towel and enjoy the peace for ten minutes (you kinda have to, ’cause you have your hands tied.)

Here are the products, that I used and some product recommendations. Most of these I have received as pr-samples.

easy manicure at home

essence studio nails professional cuticle pusher | essence studio nails rosewood sticks |  MOSSA Oil-infused nourishing body lotion | Professional Nail Spa Bowl Manicure(amazon*)

sally hansen moisture rehab

sally hansen review

Sally Hansen miracle GEL 911 Aqua Chakra | Sally Hansen miracle GEL Top Coat | Sally Hansen moisture REHAB Strengthener

I love Sally Hansen nail products. These miracle gel polishes have great pigment, nice texture and they last long on the nail. Full review here. I can also recommend that moisturizing treatment that is suited for the nails and cuticles. I treat my nails with this whenever I’m not wearing any nail polish and I sometimes use it for my cuticles during the day.

manicure at home

MAVALA MAVA-STRONG base coat | MAVALA GEL FINISH TOP COAT | essie all in one base coat + top coat + strengthener (amazon*)

I also love Mavala products. We actually used them at school too. They have great quality products and I love especially their small sizes, because they don’t dry out and I get to use all the product. Essie is another great brand and this all-in-one clear polish is great.

When was the last time you treated yourself to a manicure? 

natural nails


15 Replies to “How to do a manicure like a pro”

  1. Perfect nails. More nail polish and swatches, please.

  2. I love to paint my nails but I don’t really like to do a manicure or at least, I am not good at it haha! This is a great tutorial, I will make sure I follow it next time to improve myself!


    1. Charlotta Takkula says: Reply


  3. Loved this post! I really need to start taking care of my nails, at the moment my nail varnish is a mess and nearly all chipped off

    1. Charlotta Takkula says: Reply

      Haha that’s very often the case with me as well..

  4. You have such lovely natural nails! I have such stumps hahah!
    a life of a charlotte

    1. Charlotta Takkula says: Reply

      Thank you, they weren’t always like this! I think a healthy diet with nuts etc. has been helping 🙂

  5. Very useful post! Your nails look very healthy and strong and I love the colour you used. I’m quite ok with a manicure at home when there’s time, but where I lack any ability is a pedicure! I just find it so hard to shape my toe nails! Thank you for the useful tips x

    1. Charlotta Takkula says: Reply

      Thank you, glad you found it useful. Pedicure is a totally different story haha!

  6. Great post, I wish my nails were as strong as yours though! haha x
    A Blushing Beauty Blog

    1. Charlotta Takkula says: Reply

      Haha thanks 🙂

  7. You have lovely nails! Thanks for this guide, I’m so terrible at doing my own so this really helps 😀

    Rachel | Coffee & Avocados

    1. Charlotta Takkula says: Reply

      Thank you, I’m glad you found this helpful. 🙂

  8. I need to make more time to do stuff like this. I’m lazy with nail varnish and rarely wear it but love the idea of following these steps to do it properly. Yours look so neat! – Amy

    1. Charlotta Takkula says: Reply

      Thanks Amy. :>

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