#ManicureMonday how to: at home manicure

When it comes to nail care, I’d rather spend money on a new polish than a professional manicure. It’s taken a bit of time to perfect my method, but I feel like I’ve got it pretty much down at this point. Most of the manicures I feature on the blog are done by me – hooray! Unfortunately, I also have pretty much the worst cuticles in the world – they’re dry, unruly and often ragged. That’s why when I was asked if I’d like to try the Premier by Dead Sea Premier Nail Kit ($49.99), I jumped at the chance. Luckily for you, this review comes with a side of tutorial: a how to for at-home nail care.

The kit includes a nail file, 3-way buffing block, cuticle oil and hand lotion – nearly everything you need for an easy at-home manicure. What’s missing? I suggest purchasing a set of orange sticks to push back cuticles and, if you’re feeling particularly industrious, a cuticle nipper like this one from Tweezerman.

This is what I started with (warning: it’s not pretty):

For the purposes of this tutorial/review, I’m going to document my experiences using this particular kit but will also give you alternate product suggestions.

Start off by washing your hands and removing any old polish from your nails with nail polish remover. It’s best to start with a clean slate!

Next, shape your nails using a nail file. Try to avoid a “sawing” motion as it can cause your nails to split, and consider swiping the file upwards to catch any ragged edges.


Using the 3-way buffing tool, swipe the blue side back and forth across across nails to buff out ridges, the grey side to smooth and the white side to polish. (You can get a 3-way buffing block at any beauty supply store and most drug stores for ~$5-10)

Place a drop of cuticle oil at the  base of each nail and rub it in. (I often use Deborah Lippmann’s cuticle oil, but you can also use plain old olive oil from your kitchen). Follow up by applying hand cream and massaging it in.

Your nails should now look like this:

Pretty snazzy, huh? Not bad for a process that takes less than 15 minutes. At this point, your nails are well-groomed enough to be worn bare, but you could also make use of the perfect canvas you’ve created and swipe on some polish. The difference between an at-home manicure that looks professional and one that looks rushed is often the state of your cuticles and how smoothly the polish lies.

While I love the products in the Premier Nail Kit and think it would be a great gift or starting point for someone new to nail care, I probably would not purchase it for myself if only because I feel the cost is high for the type of products. I do wish they sold the cuticle oil separately, though, since it’s done wonders for my cuticles in the past 2 weeks.

If you’d like to learn more about Premier Spa Boutique, you can check out their website, Facebook or Twitter.

What’s your best at-home manicure tip/trick or tool/product? 

**Disclosure: these products were sent to me by the company for my honest review. As always, the review is unbiased. **