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How To Master A Two-Week Manicure At Home — No Shellac Required

No salon appointment necessary.

Oh, and you don't need a fancy nail lamp or polish to achieve it either...

The at-home manicure is a hard art to master. Between having to paint a small area with your non-dominant hand and having to wait what seems like centuries for it to dry and then accidentally smudging it - there's a lot that goes into DIY manicures. 

But even if you are one of these lucky ambidextrous people who, as it happens, has the patience of a saint, once your nails are done, you go do the dishes and suddenly they're all chipped. 

Well, what if I told you the a long-lasting manicure doesn't just exist underneath the UV lights at a nail salon? Intrigued, right? Just like the perfect at-home blowdry, it all comes down to technique. No, we're not talking about managing to only place nail polish on your nails (although this helps), we're talking about everything from the prep, the kind of brush, where you apply the colour first and of course, that all-important top coat.  

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To find out how to give yourself a salon-worthy manicure that won’t chip quickly, we spoke to the team of experts over at CND. Below, they break down the basic steps on how to make a manicure last longer. 


Remove excess polish from the brush on the side of the bottle and then apply a thin line of colour along the free edge of the nail to seal it and ensure complete coverage.


Pull the brush from the bottle scooping a small bead of polish on one side. Place the bead in the centre of the nail to avoid flooding the cuticle then lift the brush up and ease towards the cuticle line. This technique allows the brush to fan out for precise application – a tiny margin should be left between the cuticle and the polish. Glide the brush from the cuticle back down towards the free edge to complete this stroke leaving even coverage on the centre of the nail.


Rotate the finger right and using the left side of the brush apply colour over the left side of the nail. Follow the contour of the sidewall as closely as possible from the cuticle line to the free edge. Do not re-dip the polish for steps 3 and 4 there should be enough polish to cover the nail completely.


Rotate the finger left and using the right side of the brush apply colour over the right side of the nail. Follow the contour of the sidewall as closely as possible from the cuticle line to the free edge.


Repeat steps 1-4. The second colour layer will provide additional colour and any free margins can be perfected with this layer. Repeat all steps with your preferred topcoat.

Main image by @nailchark on Instagram

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