Fashion & Beauty

These DIY Manicure Tips From Professional Nail Artists Will Make You Forget About Your Favorite Salon

These DIY Manicure Tips From Professional Nail Artists Will Make You Forget About Your Favorite Salon
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So, you’ll be giving yourself a DIY manicure for your at-home wedding in quarantine while you await a postponed affair. We know it’s not ideal, but here’s the good news: We talked to professional nail artists to help you pull off a near-professional bridal manicure at home. From start to finish, their techniques and product recommendations will make it possible to achieve beautiful wedding nails you won’t want to hide behind your bouquet. In fact, you’ll be proud to show ‘em off, especially once your new wedding ring is placed upon your finger.


DIY Manicure Tools


Silva Nahabedian, director of education for nail-care company Dazzle Dry, advises brides that the very first step of a DIY manicure is having clean hands. (Good thing you’re already washing yours like crazy in this current environment!) 


The next step, Nahabedian tells MyWedding, is to take off any traces of your last manicure. “Remove polish with an acetone or non-acetone polish remover,” she says. “To prevent the color from bleeding all over the fingers, saturate a cotton round and allow it to sit on the nail for a few seconds. Then, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle and pull. Rotate the cotton round to find a clean spot for every nail until you have completely removed all remnants of old polish.” 


After that comes filing and pushing back those cuticles. Nahabedian says it’s important to soak your nails before using an orangewood stick or other cuticle pusher — and if you’ve still got some traces of old polish, an orangewood stick wrapped with cotton is also a handy tool for removing it from the skin, just like how they do it at salons. To maintain your DIY manicure after you say “I do,” Nahabedian recommends applying a base and top coat every third day.


Read on for more step-by-step instructions and the products to pull one off an impressive DIY manicure at home.


RELATED: How to DIY the Perfect Bridal Hairstyle, According to Stylists


1 of 14 Image Credits: Target

Best Nail Polish Remover

Ella + Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover


With five stars and over 1,200 reviews on Target, you won’t be disappointed with Ella + Mila nail polish remover. The gentle and acetone-free, vitamin-enriched formula is beloved by DIY manicure devotees for its lavender scent and because, well, it works.

4 ounces

2 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Nail File

Flowery Natural Nail File


Nahabedian says, “Use a nail file designed for natural nails such as a 100/180 grit mild nail file that is not too aggressive to prevent nails from splitting. Then either file in one direction or side to center until the desired length and shape are achieved.”

1 pack

3 of 14 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Crystal Nail File

Sephora Collection Crystal File


According to Nahabedian, a crystal nail file will work well to care for your nails as well and can be especially good for delicate nails. This one is beloved by Sephora shoppers because it’s washable and long-lasting and comes with a cute, color-coordinated case. Commenters again and again swear this is the best nail file they’ve ever used and won’t try another one again.

File and case
No animal testing

4 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Nail Buffer

Flowery Lemon Lime Nail File


Nahabedian recommends using a 240-grit buffer like this one to smooth the nails in preparation for polish application.

7 inches
2 count

5 of 14 Image Credits: Olive & June

Best DIY Manicure Set

Olive & June The Tool Box


Perhaps the easiest way to do your manicure at home is to get a set with all of the necessary tools. Try this comprehensive seven-piece manicure set from popular LA-based nail salon Olive & June. Simply add a bowl of hot soapy water and polish, and you’re well on your way to realizing bridal nail glory. The company also makes specific kits for different types of manicures, including a French Tip Kit.

Includes Olive & June Nail Polish Remover Pot, clean-up brush, flat-edge nail clipper, dual-grit nail file, buffer cube, polish bottle handle, and cuticle serum

6 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Cuticle Conditioning Hand Cream

Philosophy Hands of Hope Hand and Cuticle Cream


“Once you have groomed and buffed the nails, they will be thirsty for moisture," Nahabedian shares. So the next step in the bridal DIY manicure is to apply a cuticle conditioning oil or cream and rub it into each nail. "This motion will stimulate blood flow and oxygen to promote healthy growth, keep nails flexible and prevent breakage,” she adds. This highly rated and fast-absorbing Philosophy cream with shea butter pulls double duty by also moisturizing hands.

1 ounce

7 of 14 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Base Coat

Deborah Lippman Hard Rock Hydrating Nail Hardener


Customers love this base coat because its hydrating formula protects weak nails that have endured numerous gel manicures. The formula can also be used as a top coat.

0.5 ounces

8 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Top Coat

Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat


Maryland-based Sassy Nails Boutique owner Tracy Nguyen recommends Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat, and reviewers agree this is the ultimate choice. Apparently once you try it, you won’t be able to live without it.

0.5 ounces

9 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Neutral Nail Color for Brides

OPI Bubble Bath


Nguyen recommends this neutral hue for brides who want to match with their dress. OPI's Mod About You is a great nail color for darker complexions.

0.5 ounces

10 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Bridal Red Nail Polish Color

OPI Big Apple Red


If you want to go with a bold red nail, Nguyen’s pick is OPI’s Big Apple Red. “You can’t go wrong with that color,” she says.

0.5 ounces

11 of 14 Image Credits: Saks Fifth Avenue

Best Designer Nail Polish

Christian Louboutin The Noirs


If you can’t treat yourself before your wedding, when can you? Paint your nails with high drama when you choose this deep and sexy shade by Christian Louboutin. Plus, the bottle is a piece of art you can admire while you wait for your manicure to dry! Lucky ladies who splurged on the polish gush about its silken finish and say it holds up like a dream.

0.4 ounces

12 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Gel Manicure Polish

Essie Gel Couture


If you want to use gel polish so your bridal nails last longer than a few days, women love Essie’s Gel Couture line with over 24 colors from sheer graceful pink to romantic red. You won’t need a UV lamp to preserve the manicure for up to 14 days and gel mani aficionados swear removal is easy.

0.46 ounces

13 of 14 Image Credits: Ulta

Best French Manicure Polish

OPI White Polish


Nguyen recommends OPI white polish to pull off the perfect French manicure at home. “First, apply a thin layer of base coat on the tip of all 10 nails and let that sit for a minute," she explains. "Then, put clear tape across the nails adjusted to however thick you want the white line of the French manicure to be. Apply two coats of white polish and then remove the tape (the polish doesn’t have to be dry).” You’ll clean up smudges with polish remover and an orange stick wrapped in a small piece of paper towel, then apply two coats of top coat to finish the look.

0.5 ounces

14 of 14 Image Credits: Anthropologie

Best Nail Scrubber

Oak Travel Nail Brush


One last item on Nahabedian's DIY manicure must-have list is a nail scrubber to get you nails and cuticles clean and wedding-ready. This compact option is made of oiled oak and tampico fiber from Sweden so you can feel exotic while you admire your mani.

1.3”H, 1.3”W, 2.5”L