I love getting manicures, but I hate spending the money for something I can do myself just as good.
(My toes on the other hand, I leave for the pros)
Here are the products I use step by step.
File, buff, shine, and smooth. I love using 4 sided files and this Sephora Collection Buffer ($8) allows me to do all of that in one tool. Buffing may seem like something that isn't quite necessary, but it will keep your nails ridge free and let the polish adhere much better.
Time for the cuticles. I love love love Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil ($8). It makes the cuticles hydrated and if you decide to, it preps them to be pushed back. Tip: Use Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil every night to keep your cuticles moist and prevent hangnails and dry skin around the nail bed.
Next, I use a nail treatment base. Essie carries a lot of different kinds of treatments for different nail problems. In the case of my nails, the longer the get the weaker they become, so I use Essie Protein Base Coat ($8) to add protein to my nails.
Polish is next. Two coats of your fave polish and you are good to go! This one pictured is OPI Couture De Minnie in A Definite Moust-Have.
To keep your beautiful manicure in place you have to use a top coat. Seche Vite ($9.95) is a cult beauty product because it leaves you with a gel like finish and completely dries in under 5 minutes!
And now it's time to enjoy your beautiful manicure.