Being a lady who's obsessed with nails, I've definitely learned a few DIY tips and tricks in my life.  It's fun to get pampered every now and then, but if you're looking to do a gorgeous manicure on your own, The Mall at Rockingham Park literally has everything you need to make your nails look just as fabulous as they would after a trip to the salon.
Doing it yourself isn't as difficult as you might think. I have a pretty good system that works and the end result is pretty darn beautiful, if I do say so myself.
First, you need to gather the essentials. Be sure to have all these products ready to go before you even start anything. I got all of my mani must-haves at Sephora. Trust me ladies, these products are the best of the best:
  1. Nail polish remover (Josie Maran Bear Naked Nail Wipes, $9)
  2. Nail clippers, if your nails need a trim before you polish (Sephora Collection Precision Nail Clippers, $12)
  3. Emery board (Tweezerman Filemate, $5)
  4. Base coat (Butter London Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat, $19)
  5. Nail polish (Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in Bouquet, $24)
  6. Clear topcoat (Deborah Lippman Addicted To Speed Top Coat, $20)

Even though I chose those specific products for my own nails, feel free to take a trip to the mall and visit Sephora yourself! The staff there is incredibly helpful, so if there's something specific you want to try, they'll find it! There are also tons of products that cater to different nail issues (like nails that are prone to peeling, or are brittle). Use the items I went with as a starting point and go from there.

That said, here's how to complete your own DIY manicure:

  • Start off by using the nail polish remover to get rid of old polish. Even if your nails are polish-free, still use the remover to get rid of any oil, or dirt that may have accumulated over time.
  • Next, shape your nails--first using clippers (if you need to), then use an emery board to file your nails into your desired look. I usually go with a slightly rounded nail shape. 
  • If you have weak or brittle nails, use a base coat of ridge-filling nail polish to make your nails look super smooth. A base coat is crucial! I cannot stress that enough! It protects nails from staining and prevents chipping. 
  • Then, apply your color polish in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry between coats. Two coats of color polish, followed by a top coat to add shine should do the trick. Layering is important.  If you apply one thick layer, it won't dry as well, or look as even. Color-wise, be creative! If you're looking for a classic look, light pink always does the trick.
  • To make your mani last as long as possible, touch it up with a single layer of top coat every couple of days. This can make all the difference in keeping up the appearance and durability.
Try it out for yourself! I'm sure you'll find that getting pretty pointers isn't as difficult as it seems. And if you make a mistake, just start over. Remember: practice makes perfect!

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