I've been doing my nails at home ever since I got the approval from my mom to do it, which was when I was 14/15 years old so about 8 years ago.
Once a week I take the time to take care of my nails because I find it very important to always have good looking and healthy nails. When I'm not in the mood for colored nail polish, I always apply a coat of the base and maybe a cream nail polish or only just the base but most times I like to have my nails painted with colors, specially the really vibrant ones.
To accomplish a great manicure at home, you only need to follow 6 steps:
1 - Remove your old nail polish with a cotton pad. Use nail remover without acetone so it won't damage your nails;
2 - Use the nail file to shape them according to your preferences - I prefer mine squared with rounded corners. I always buy mine from Sephora.
3- Apply one coat of the base - I used my favorite from Kiko 3 in 1 Shine #100;
4- Apply 2 coats of your favorite nail polish - starting from the center and then do the sides. My nail polish is also from Kiko in the shade #361 Raspberry Pink;
5- Apply one coat of the top coat - this way your nail polish will last a lot longer;
6- Don't forget to moisturize your hands and cuticles. This is a very important step because it will hydrate your skin and your cuticles will look a lot better. My personal favorite when it comes to hand cream is Dove purely pampering with shea butter and warm vanilla. Your hands will smell incredible for hours, even after washing the dishes!
I hope these 6 steps will help you achieve that professional manicure at home and remember practice is your best friend. No one does it right on the first try.