A DIY Manicure That Lasts.

I love painted fingernails. There is something about having a pop of color on my nails that makes me feel a little more feminine and pretty. 

For a long time I thought it was impossible to have a manicure last longer than a couple of days. Especially a home manicure. After testing various products, I have come up with a system that keeps my manicure fresh for 6 days. (by day seven my nails have grown out enough to need the treatment again.)

Here is my manicure regimen:

Step One: Trim, file + buff nails to the desired shape.
Step Two: Apply one coat of First Base base coat by Essie on nails. 
Step Three: Apply nail color. Allow to dry completely. Tip: a nail tech once told me the color is completely dry when you can no longer "smell" the paint.
Step Four: Apply second coat of nail color. Allow to dry completely.
Step Five: Apply Out The Door top coat. Allow to dry for one minute.
Step Six: Lightly spritz OPI Rapid Dry on nails.


Notes:

I am a mother to five children. I wash my hands millions? of times a day. Using these products keep my manicures from peeling or chipping for nearly a full week.

I always do my manicures late at night when the children are in bed. It's no fun being in the middle of the process and hearing the baby wake up from a nap. Ever try removing a baby from a crib with wet nails? I have and it's not pretty.

Essie is by far my favorite nail polish brand. The formula is perfect. Not too thin, not too thick. Added bonus: the colors are really pretty. "Silken Cord" is my current favorite. It's a bright orangish red and it makes me happy.

Between coats of paint I read blogs or watch a movie with my husband. Find an activity you can do that requires minimal hand usage but still feels pampering.

Do you have any manicure tips or favorite products to share? I'd love to hear about them!

23 comments:

  1. You are the best! I'm going to town tonight to get these supplies, and then I'm going to pamper myself!

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  2. I love pretty nails! One of my favorite products is Nail Tek. It saved my thin, peeling nails and turned them into strong, healthy nails that I now have to trim at least once a week. They grow so fast!

    Just last week, I made the mistake of trying to paint my nails while Eva was taking a nap. Guess what? She woke up early. Yes, taking her out created quite the mess. I decided to wait until bedtime from now on ;)

    Oh, one more thing. Do you buy your Essie polish locally?

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  3. I definitely noticed your manicure in your post about the teethers. Is this the color you were wearing in those photos?

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  4. Like! I'll have to give it a whirl.

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  5. Ooohh, you've inspired me to go paint my nails...tonight! And I love that color! Where do you buy Essie?

    I don't paint my fingernails very often, but one thing I do to prolong my pedicures (especially since toenails grow out slower) is to reapply the topcoat every other day to avoid chipping or rubbing off. During the summer when we're at the beach constantly (walking in the sand) this will keep my pedicure fresh for almost a month, if not more. Might work nicely on a manicure too.

    In fact, I think I'm going to give my fingernails the royal treatment now as well. Why should my toes have all the fun? Thanks!

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  6. Tharker + The Parkers, I usually buy my Essie polish at a beauty supply store called NW Beauty. Although, when writing this post I took a peek at Amazon and their prices are 50% less. I'll be buying from Amazon from now on.

    R8chel, Yes, the color I was wearing in the baby packaging post was "Silken Cord." It's my new favorite red.

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  7. Funny you bring up the topic of lasting mail polish. I really don't like spending a lot of time carefully painting my nails, not smudging them, and then having them chip a day later. So...I just tried Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips and they're awesome! They feel like real nail polish, took 20ish minutes to apply (I'm sure it gets faster after your first try), and I'm thinking they really will last the 10 days they promise! Definitely worth a try!

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  8. going to finally follow every. single. direction. i keep trying to skip a step. not tonight! gavin! go to bed already! i've got "big spender" to paint.
    love, lin

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing! After like 10 years of never painting my nails (ever since I started having kids) I am going to do this. Going to order supplies on Amazon now! :)

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  10. our walmart carries essie now. it's awesome. not that i have time to pamper myself these days. hopefully soon...

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  11. so, i did nails {was a 'licensed nail technician' for about 6 years...woo-hoo!} and you nailed {nice pun!} these products! good job. they are some of my faves too, however... for nail cuticle oil & lotion, i LOVE creative nail products - they are great + smell like almond...which is one of my favorites scents ever!

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  12. ooooh I will definitely need to try this! i love to get a manicure, but it NEVER lasts.

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  13. Okay... I need this. Thanks for the tip, because I had no idea how moms do it!!

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  14. thanks for the tips. i got silken cord and love it. any other favorite colors? it's so hard to pick colors online. but i'm loving essie. i'd love to hear other colors you love. :) thanks!

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  15. For some reason the last few months I have been painting my nails almost non stop. Thanks for the DIY mani. Such a fun post. Our local Walmart and Target both carry Essie! I'm going to pick up the base coat tonight.

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  16. p.s. Target also has the "out the door" top coat. But I am having a hard time finding the base coat anywhere. Bummer. :(

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  17. When I found this post I went straight to the store and got everything!! I have to say I'm going on day six and my nails still look great!!! Thanks so much

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  18. new to your blog and I luuuuuv it. I was inspired and bought myself some summery 'strawberry sorbet' essie today! :) Gonna hit up amazon next time. Do you do blog designs, BTW? I am a photog, and really love your simple, yet crafty and classy style. It's totally what I'm going for in my branding...think kraft paper, bakers twine, aqua + mustard...mmmm. goodness. email if it's something you'd consider :) I'm on wordpress.

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  19. Thank you for your tutorial! I found it on pinterst which directed me to your awesome blog! After reading your instructions I thought hmm not sure if this will work, my manicures last 1 day, but then you said you are a mother of 5 children & wash your hands a lot, so now I'm sold! Thanks !!

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  20. Hi! I do not do my nails, as I chew them to bits when nervous or stressed. I am going to give this a try, as my daughter is going to have a spa themed party. With 8 or 9 girls getting their nails done, it will be interesting! Thank you so much for the tutorial!!!

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  21. Have you tried Seche Vite Dry Fast top coat? It is fantastic, and made my nails last nicely for a week only after one coat of Essie - I'm an Essie fan too. Interested in trying your products and routine. Perhaps Santa will add some last minute options to my stocking :) Merry Christmas Danyelle!

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  22. I like using Ulitmate shield top coat base coat by Sally Hansen. I started giving myself manicures once a week and about a month ago I boat this product. Since then my nails are rock hard! They never break or chip. The last time I got my nails done at a salon the lady thought I had gel nails on!
    Definitely going to try Essie out though, I have been using Nicole by OPI and it seems like it takes forever to dry!

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  23. Thanks I really needed to know how to make my nails last longer it's perfect for special ocasion. Where can I get opi rapid dry?

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