5 Easy At-Home Manicure Ideas
This clear half-moon mani won’t show regrowth at the base, so you can no go longer between polish jobs—high five!
How-to: Instead of doing these half-moons freehand, get round paper hole reinforcement stickers at an office supply store and place them halfway over the cuticle to act as a barrier. Swipe a kelly-green polish over the entire nail. Peel off the stickers to reveal a crisp half-moon at the nail base. Let dry, then add topcoat.
Pro secret: Run the brush along the top of the nail to seal the raw edge and help prevent chipping.
To buy: Julep Nail Color in Payton, $14; julep.com.
Half and Half
A diagonal design is an easy way to edge up girly florals.
How-to: When incorporating negative space (where slivers of your naked nail bed peek through), skip the base coat, since you’ll be using topcoat later. For this diagonal design, stick a small piece of Scotch tape across your nail where you want the negative space (this ensures a precise line). Swipe a purple polish from the edge of the tape to the
tip of the nail, then quickly remove the tape. Once nails are dry, apply topcoat.
Pro secret: When using tape for any mani, do one nail at a time, removing the tape immediately after painting to avoid seeping polish.
To buy: Essie Nail Color in Pret-a-Surfer, $9; macys.com.
Related: 3 Ways to Wear Side Twists
Need a new go-to hairstyle that’s not a ponytail? Try a simple side twist that resembles a braid but is much more easier to pull off—even for those who aren’t the best at perfecting a hairstyle. All you need to do for prep is add some volume to your hair with a curling iron and some texturizing spray. Then create the twists on each side of your head and secure with bobby pins—you’ll be done in no time, which is perfect for any morning routine before heading to the office. Here, we also give two other ways to style the twists, with a bun and a headband.
Update the French mani by swapping the classic white tip for two diagonal lines
How-to: Don’t worry—this graphic look is an easy freehand job. Use a white opaque polish to paint the right half of the nail diagonally from cuticle to tip. Let dry for one minute, then swipe a diagonal line across the left side of the nail to create a negative space triangle. Once nails are dry, seal with topcoat.
Pro secret: Speed up your dry time by using your blow-dryer on its (this is key) cool setting. Hot air actually slows the drying process, which is why manicurists don’t recommend blowing on your nails.
To buy: Deborah Lippmann Amazing Grace, $18; nordstrom.com.
When wearing a bold pattern, try a single swipe in an accent color for a mani that complements, not competes.
How-to: If negative space isn’t your thing, swap your regular solid neutral for soft yet surprising lavender. Apply a base coat like JINsoon Power Coat ($18; nordstrom.com), which dries matte so polish adheres better. Once nails are dry, layer on two coats of color. Finish with topcoat.
Pro secret: It’s always a good idea to swipe a cotton pad dipped in alcohol or non-acetone polish remover (white vinegar works, too) over your nail bed to remove residue and keep nail polish from peeling.
To buy: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Grape Gatsby, $7; amazon.com.
A Fine Line
A vertical line down the center creates the illusion of longer nails, while coral (your new neutral) warms the skin.
How-to: This intricate design isn’t tricky at all, thanks to that handy tape. Trim strips to your desired width and place one lengthwise at the center of each nail. Paint a peach polish over the nail, then carefully remove the strip using your fingers or tweezers. Continue on to the next nail. Let dry, then finish with topcoat.
Pro secret: Reapply topcoat every three days for an instant refresh.
To buy: China Glaze Nail Lacquer in More To Explore, $7; sallybeauty.com.