DIY Manicure Part 1: Perfectly Prepped for Polish

supplies finalEverybody loves going to a salon for a pro manicure, but it can be pricey…so I’ve perfected the DIY “at-home” manicure. I like to do my manicures solo from the comfort of my couch while I re-watch my Buffy the Vampire DVD collection or maybe watching DVR Food Network shows with my man.

But that’s just me. This manicure is also fun to do with a bunch of girl friends. Just add some sangria and you have an instant party!

I’ve broken up this DIY project into 2 sections because that’s how like to do it and I make the rules on this here blog, bitches! So there.

In all seriousness, I like to repeat Part 2 more often than I paint my nails because it is a miracle cure for naturally dry cuticles (which I am cursed with). Left to their own devices, my cuticles turn into painful hangnails pretty quickly. You can do whatever you want though cuz this is Amurrrica goddamnit!

STEP ONE: Soak your hands in some warm soapy water  for 3-5 minutes.

  • TIP: Do this manicure after getting out of a bubble bath or long warm shower and you can skip Step One.

STEP TWO: Use cuticle pusher to um, well, push back your cuticles.

cuticle push

STEP THREE: Using the cuticle nipper, trim the excess cuticle ickies (that’s the scientific term) from around each nail.

trim cuticle 5

STEP FOUR: Clip nails to desired length. I personally like mine short, but this design looks good on long nails too.

clipping 2

STEP FIVE: Your 4 way buffer block should be labeled Step 1 – Step 4, starting with the roughest side and ending with the smoothest side. Use the roughest edge (Step 1) of your buffer block to file each nail edge to a smooth round shape.

file n buff 4

STEP SIX: Using the second roughest side (Step 2) of the buffer block  go over the top of each nail to remove any ridges.

Repeat STEP SIX with the remaining sides of your buffer block to buff and shine.


STEP 7: Use lightly moistened cotton balls to remove excess nail dust from filing and buffing.

acetone 2

STEP 8: Apply 2 coats of polish followed by a clear top coat of your choice and let dry completely.

  • TIP: If your only goal is to keep your cuticles healthy you can always skip the polish step and go straight to Part 2.

After paint is completely dry to the touch you can move on to DIY Manicure, Part 2. Or not. Whatever. I ain’t the boss of you. XOXO

DIY Nail Art: Spike Tips


So I’m currently obsessing on the 90’s/grunge revival trend. The gold chains and spiked jewelry I’m currently addicted to were the inspiration for these nails. I like that its more abstract and not so literal. Plus, gold and black are pretty neutral so this design goes with everything.

Plus they make me feel like a badass.

What you’ll need:

  • Gold Polish
  • Quick Drying Black Polish
  • Orly Sec n’Dry Clear Coat- this one is specific because this product is AMAZING. The only quick dry polish I’ve ever tried that actually works AND is shiny. Seriously, I love it. **Dear Orly, if you want to throw some money my way for my glowing endorsement I totally won’t object. XOXO
  • Black Sharpie Marker
  • Scotch Tape or Masking Tape

STEP ONE: Apply 2 coats of gold polish followed by 1 coat or Orly Sec n’Dry and let dry completely.

TIP: I usually paint the gold, rock it solo for a day and then move on to step 2. Especially if I bother to do a full manicure before the gold because that takes so much time.


STEP TWO: Use the marker to make a small dot in the center of each nail. The dot will help your “spike tips” be more evenly sized & placed.


STEP THREE: Use the tape to form a triangle on the tip of your nail with the dot as your apex. Make sure the edges of the tape triangle are firmly pressed down.


STEP FOUR: Fill in the triangle with your black polish.


STEP FIVE: Peel off tape & repeat for each nail.

TIP: When painting the spikes do one nail at a time and peel off the tape while the black polish is still wet. You don’t want the black to dry or the edges might peel off with the tape.

005 006

FINISHING MOVE: When all your spikes are done, wait until the black dries to the touch and then finish with coat of Orly Sec n’ Dry.  You want to wait until the black is dry to the touch otherwise it will bleed into the gold when the clear is applied.

Now get out there and cause a commotion you badass bitch!