At-Home Manicure – 5 Easy Steps

I majored in Chemistry and once thought about going into the cosmetic industry, learning to formulate soaps and cosmetics. I eventually picked up jobs in medical research instead. When I was in college, I used to work at my aunt’s friend’s nail salon for a brief period of time. As much as I love playing with colors and design aspect of nails, I knew from the start that nail job was not for me. However, I picked up lots of tips and tricks on what goes into a good looking set of nails. So read on if you want to know how to do your own nails, at home, with just a few simple steps.

Make sure you have these similar tools and products before you start:

LUSH hand cream in Handy Gurugu

NAIL CARE: Nail clipper | Nail file | Nail cleanerNail buffer 

CUTICLE CARE: Cuticle nipper | Cuticle pusher 

OPI primer/base coat

OPI nail polish (shade featured: In the cable car-pool lane)

OPI top coat


Apply cream on the cuticle – skin area around your nails and hands


Use the cuticle pusher to lightly clean up your nail beds.

Follow the natural shape of your nails, avoid pushing in too hard! Cuticle skin is not a bad thing!

Trim the exposed cuticle skin, follow the natural round shape of your nails.


After cutting your nails to the desired length, shape and file away the rough edges

I like my nails square! (straighter on the sides and blunt across the top)

Lightly buff the surface to get rid of any bumps and left-over lotion/moisturizer from step 1. This step is crucial in making your polish last longer!



Apply a layer of nail primer/base coat

Color time!

Polishing tips: Keep the brush still, slightly roll each finger to ensure even coating! Make sure to paint the tips /edges of your nails! I paint my left hand first and then my right hand. I let them dry and go back for a second round of application!

Apply top coat & let dry!!!

Make sure to clean any significant polish traces on your cuticle skin area with a Q-tip dipped in some nail polish remover. And YOU ARE DONE!!!

I forgot to take the after photo of my nails after shooting for this post, but you can find loads of my nail photos on my Instagram, here. I find having all of the tools and products ready shortens the time it takes to do my nails. Also, doing nails takes time, so relax and make sure you have your favorite music/show played in the background while doing it. It is not a bad idea to gather some girlfriends and include nails as a part of the fun! Hope this post was helpful and have a fantastic day!


stay inspired | as always

An Trieu


4 comments so far.

4 responses to “At-Home Manicure – 5 Easy Steps”

  1. Christina says:

    I definitely need to take better care of my cuticles! I rely way too heavily on salon manicure when I could just as easily do everything at home, haha. Thanks so much for these tips!!

    Looks by Lau

  2. Jeanne says:

    I love this step by step post! I am terrible at cleaning up my nail beds, I think I need some training! Lol.

    • antrieu says:

      You don’t really need to do much with your nail beds. Cuticle skin isn’t bad! Sometimes I just use my other nail to push the cuticle just a little bit out, and it works fine! Thanks for reading though!

An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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