I love being treated to a good mani/pedi, but I really don’t get them done that often.  I tend to get them done more often in the warmer months when I live in sandals and need to have pretty feet, but all throughout the winter, I try to maintain with at-home treatments.  The right tools make all the difference in the world and at least you know they are clean and sterile!

Here are the steps I follow:

1. Cut nails.

2.  Shape nails with a glass nail file, as it will maintain the integrity your nails, unlike traditional filers.

3. Buff the tops of your nails with a fine/medium grit buffing tool.  This smooths your nails so that there isn’t a ridge at the end from the filing. 

I love this nail buffer from Sephora because it has four sides.  Use buffing sides #2 and #3 for step three! 

4.  Trim hang nails or anything else visibly sticking up off your nails with a cuticle nipper.

5. Apply a cuticle softener and massage it into each nail bed.

(There is no way I could give myself a proper at-home mani or pedi without this.)

Lemony Flutter by Lush Cosmetics

This cuticle butter is amazing.  It softens my cuticles better than anything I’ve ever tried.  It’s made up of lemons, beeswax, avocados, and other butters and oils.  You can also use it on your heels, elbows, or any part of your body that is a little rough.  A little goes a long way, so this little pot has lasted me a long time. 

6.  Push cuticles back gently with a cuticle pusher while your nails are still heavily moisturized with the cuticle butter.

I use a cuticle pusher that has a spoon edge, like this one:

7.  Wash hands while using a nail brush to scrub away anything under or around your nails. 

8.  Base coat, polish x2, and a top coat… then you’re good to go!

My favorite top coat is Essie All in One Base.

…and my favorite top coat is Sally Hansen Mega Shine because it gives that gel-like appearance and makes my polish harden very quickly!



  1. November 15, 2012 / 8:33 pm

    great tips – I need one like ASAP, I should proably get on that tonight! If you get a sec, I'd love if you'd check out my latest post. xo

    fashionable footprints

  2. November 15, 2012 / 8:54 pm

    Thanks for the step-by-step guide! I think I'll be doing an at-home mani this weekend 🙂

  3. November 15, 2012 / 9:37 pm

    Just finished giving myself an at home manicure and wish I would've read this before! I'm going to need to expand my mani/pedi tool kit in the very near future.
    xo Tess

  4. November 16, 2012 / 4:52 am

    Such a good, practical post. 🙂 I swear by glass nail files. If I get to go to Sephora tomorrow I'm going to pick up a buffer. XO

  5. November 16, 2012 / 10:07 am

    Great tips! Thank you very much, really! I have been trying to do more at home nail care, but I need all the tips I can get!



  6. November 17, 2012 / 2:36 am

    where do you pick up your LUSH product? I love LUSH but shipping takes foreverrrrrr.

  7. November 19, 2012 / 2:29 am

    I just went out and picked up one of those crystal nail files and it makes all the difference in the world- love your tips!

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