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How can I get the perfect at-home manicure?

Answer: Don’t feel like spending hours at the salon? We don’t blame you. These easy steps will give you salon-perfect nails in no time:

To remove any existing polish off your nails, you’ll need to use a trusty remover. Regular nail polish remover won’t cut it and often takes too long. Instead, check out removers containing acetone, which you can find at most drugstores. Acetone is much more heavy-duty and will cut your polish-removing time in half.

Next, file your nails. Using a nail file, you can shape the nail into any shape and size; some prefer long and square, while others like short and round–the choice is yours!

After that, you’ll want to focus on your cuticles. A great tip to help prep your cuticles for the following steps is to use a softener like Bio Oil. To remove the excess oil, pour some acetone into its lid and use a small brush to clean off the oil from your nails. Next, push cuticles back using a cuticle remover. Once the cuticles are pushed back, use a cuticle trimmer to remove any excess skin, or like the professionals use, try a liquid cuticle remover which can be found at any drugstore or beauty supply store.

The next step is to apply a base coat. In order for the nail color to go on smoothly, you’ll need a great base. I recommend Essie’s First Base, which just requires one easy coat that dries fairly quickly. Once you’re finished applying the base coat, the next step would be to apply the color. An easy trick is to paint all of your nails except for the thumbs, which you save for last. By saving the thumbs for last, you can use them to clean off the excess polish from the other fingers. To paint on the color, start in the middle of the nail and make sure to go all the way down to the cuticle, then continue to paint until the end of the nail. Once the first coat is completely dry, add another coat or two to really being out the hue. Lastly, finish everything off with a top coat which is super important in order to make your nail color last.When you’re finished painting, place a Q-tip in some acetone remover and clean up any areas as needed.

These simple steps will keep you and your wallet happy! What are your tips for professional quality nails at home?