tips + advice :: mani at home

Kelsey's wedding is just around the corner and my nails were in need of some mega help. I love a good manicure like any other girl, but sometimes a mani at home can be just as enjoyable! And it doesn't hurt to have some budget friendly pampering. I thought I'd share my go to nail routine and a few of my favorite products with you. 

tools :: nail clipper, nail file, nail buffer, cuticle nipper, cuticle trimmer, cuticle gel remover, nail polish remover, base/top coat, nail polish (purchased at target + ulta).
trim :: start by cutting your nails to your preferred length.
file :: begin to shape your nail; either squared or rounded. I use a 180 grit medium filing board. then use a 4-way buffing block - which will allow you to even out, smooth, buff and shine.
soften :: fill a cup or small bowl with water and a little bit of moisturizing soap, to soften your cuticles. let them soak for about 3 minutes. apply the cuticle gel to the edge of your nail beds to further soften.
trim :: using your cuticle trimmer, gently push your cuticles back. take your cuticle nipper and begin trimming any excess. careful not to cut healthy skin.
exfoliate :: using a scrub, exfoliate your hands to make them extra soft! I use the tree hut sugar scrub and it leaves my skin feeling great! for pedicures I use this scrub; the scent is so soothing.
moisturize :: moisturize your hands and they'll feel like new. If you can have someone else massage the lotion in, it's even better! I use Johnson's Melt Away Stress lotion and it is simply heavenly! for pedicures I use this one.
polish :: this time around I did a french manicure. I use Maybelline's Color Show in Porcelain Party for the tips. Some other favorites are Mademoiselle by Essie, I Eat Mainely Lobster by OPI, and West End Wonderland by Butter. I also start with a base coat and end with a top coat.
dry :: I was recently introduced to drying drops and it's completely revolutionized my mani process! You must try; and thank me later!

Pretty simple process and the perfect way to treat yourself. You may know of some even better products; in which case, please share! I love finding new products to try!

xo. melisa