tips & trends
your perfect at-home essie manicure
need a little brush up on how to give yourself a manicure at home? it doesn’t have to be stressful – in fact, you should enjoy it - with these easy tips and tricks from essie Global Lead Educator and celebrity manicurist, Rita Remark
step 1: remove nail polish, cleanse and sanitize hands
what you’ll need: acetone or non-acetone nail polish, cotton balls or pads, soap and water
begin your at-home manicure by first removing any previous nail polish with your choice of nail polish remover or cleansing the polish-free nail bed.
removing deeper, richer nail colors? darker colors can feel more stubborn to remove, but don’t rub back and forth to avoid staining your cuticles. the best and easiest way to remove darker nail colors is to press the nail polish remover wipe onto your nails, wait 5 seconds for it to loosen the nail polish, and wipe down the length of the nail. repeat this step a few more times to remove any excess.
once your nails are polish free, wash your hands with soap and water (or sanitize) to start with a clean canvas!
step 2: trim and file nails
what you need: nail clipper, nail file, nail buffing block
if your nails have grown too long, rather than filing them down, begin by giving your nails a trim. with your nail clipper, trim the nails using small clips working from one side of the nail to the other. never begin clipping your nail in the center because it can put stress on your nail plate. once you have your desired nail length, file your nails in shape with a soft nail file and refine the edge by running a nail buffing block along the tip to smooth any snags! whether square, squavol, stiletto or trending coffin nails, it’s up to you on how to showcase a manicure.
PRO TIP: struggling to find the right shape for your nails? the easiest way to find the strongest, most flattering nail shape for you is to mirror the shape of your cuticles. If you have a curved cuticle, try an oval or rounded nail shade. if your cuticles are straight, opt for a square or squoval.
step 3: get your cuticles in shape!
what you’ll need: essie apricot cuticle oil, orange wood stick or cuticle pusher
to soften your cuticles, apply a drop of essie apricot cuticle oil to every nail – gently swipe across the cuticle. with an orange wood stick or a clean stainless steel cuticle pusher, gently guide any overgrown cuticle back into place. always remember that our cuticles are a protective barrier, preventing bacteria from entering our bodies. some people have thin, barely visible cuticles, while others naturally grow thicker, but both are healthy when cared for properly, so don’t over push!
PRO TIP: skip the water soak. it’s a myth that soaking our nails in water is the best way to begin a manicure and soften cuticles. soaking nails causes them to absorb water and expand, so the nail may not contract back to their true size for another 24 hrs. in fact, polishing right after could mean less wear time.
step 4: exfoliate the nail, trim, hydrate + moisturize
what you’ll need: nail buffer block, cuticle nipper
like the surface of our skin, our nails are susceptible to oils, residue and build up. exfoliate your nails with a light buff using a nail buffing block. remember to be gentle! while essential when done correctly, over buffing can weaken the nail and cause splitting. gently trim away hang nails and dry skin with a cuticle nipper (this step is only necessary if you have a hang nail.)
after you’ve trimmed your nails, hydrate the skin with a moisturizer focusing on dry areas. once absorbed, wipe nails and use nail polish remover to clean the beds for the fun, color part. doing your nails at home doesn’t mean you can’t have the spa treatment.
step 5: apply your base coat
when selecting your essie nail color, check to see if a base coat is recommended. if you select one of our essie original nail polishes, we recommend choosing an essie base coat extend the wear of your manicure. essie offers a range of star base coats such as ‘here to stay’, ‘strong start’ and ‘all-in-one.’
the longwear essie gel couture and essie TREAT LOVE & COLOR nail polishes have been specially formulated with no base coat needed.
step 6: apply 2 coats of essie color
choosing from the many essie colors can seem like a daunting task, but whatever your color choice, you’re in good hands. choose from our salon-quality nuanced essie original shades, our longwear gel couture colors or our new expressie quick-dry on the fly nail polishes.
have your color choice? apply two coats of nail color, giving a little room to dry in between before applying your second coat. steady your hand by keeping both of your elbows on the table. for novice polishers, it’s helpful to begin with the hand you’re least comfortable with to ensure a less-than shaky start.
step 7: finish with a top coat
an essie top coat protects your manicure and adds a glossy shine, glittery punch or even at matte finish. this step is our manicure’s cherry-on-top, so never forget it! whether you’re walking out the door in less than 60 seconds, want a gel-like shine or matte finish, choose from our range of essie top coats. from ‘speed.setter,’ ‘gel.setter’ and ‘all-in-one’ to our specially formatted gel couture top coat, the final step seals in your professional-looking manicure.
give yourself a hand and know that practice makes perfect. with a little #essielove and these tips here, a perfect essie manicure awaits.