7-Step Guide To The Perfect DIY Manicure

Would you like to be able to grow your own nails and ditch the acrylic tips?

But, your nails are brittle, weak and flaky.. Or maybe, your nails grow just fine, but keeping them all one length is the struggle.

I get it. Growing natural nails long can feel like an impossible task.

However, thanks to this "magic nail formula" my nails not only grow to ridiculous lengths, but they very rarely break anymore. Which means I'm able to keep them all the same length too. Which, let's face it, is more challenging than growing them!

This 7-Step DIY Manicure is just one part of the magic nail formula —that you can check out here. It will help you buy the right tools and products for salon perfect nails.

7-Step manicure tutorial

You will need

Cuticle Pusher / Orange Sticks

CND Cuticle Away

Fine Grit Nail Files

Sanding Blocks

The Edge Super Shiner

Nail Brush / Sugar Scrub

Cuticle Oil

Nutra Nail Hardener / Strengthener


The cuticle, not to be confused with the "eponychium" is the very thin layer of dead tissue that moves up the nail plate as the nail grows. It forms a protective seal to keep infections out of the matrix area where cells are keratinised to form the nail.

For that perfect salon look, and a smooth base to paint your nails, you must gently remove the cuticle using a cuticle tool/pusher. If you're not a professional it's best to avoid cutting your cuticles.

You will need

A Cuticle Tool or Orange Stick + Cuticle Remover

CND Cuticle Away a MUST for your Perfect DIY Manicure. It dissolves cuticles in seconds making it quick and easy to remove the dead skin attached to the nail leaving them clean and smooth!

Apply Cuticle Away to the entire cuticle area of all 5 nails. By the time you've applied it to your thumbnail, you can get to work on your little finger.

Hold the cuticle tool or orange stick at a flat angle, in line with your finger to avoid damaging the nail plate. Gently push from the middle of your nail bed all the way down to the eponychium.

Repeat this across the nail bed getting right into the sides. The dead tissue/cuticle will come off easily when using a cuticle remover.

Flip the tool and use gentle scraping motions to remove all the dissolved cuticle from the nail with the sharp end. Repeat on the other hand.


When filing natural nails use a 100/180 fine grit nail file. File in one direction only, from side to tip, as opposed to sawing back and forth. Hold the file at a right angle on the nails edge to avoid thinning by filing at an angle. Don't file too far into the side of the free edge as this can weaken the stress points causing breakage.


This step removes any leftover dead skin/cuticles and smooths ridges on the nails for a clean, even base to paint. Buffing blocks are also a great way to remove discolouration from the nail plate without damaging the surface. Buff the entire surface of each nail lightly.


After you smooth the ridges it's time to buff and shine for a salon perfect finish. Start by buffing nails with the matt side to smooth, then turn it over to the super shiner side. Get yourself a good buffer like this Super Shiner from The Edge. If you are painting your nails this step gives an amazingly smooth base. For natural nails, it gives a nice, healthy gloss.


Now it's time to give your nails a good scrub. This stage is optional, soap and water and a nail brush will work just fine too. I like to use a sugar scrub because it gets rid of any dead skin that's left on my nails and fingers and the glycolic acid found in cane sugar leaves skin silky soft!


Applying oil to your nails on a daily basis (at least twice) is vital for strong, healthy nail growth. Keeping them moisturised will prevent breakages. And massaging your cuticles stimulates blood flow to the matrix area encouraging nail growth. Use a cuticle oil that is free from toxic ingredients like synthetic fragrance and drying alcohols like Simon + Tom's Oil Saviour. Alternatively, make your own DIY cuticle oil (in 3 minutes!) to guarantee nourishing ingredients!


Finally, to avoid breaking your nails I highly recommend using a non-toxic nail hardener or strengthener. And layer up. I apply a coat of this stuff on every single day. I apply every morning and night to create a thick protective barrier that keeps my nails safe and prevents breaks.

*Quick tip: If I'm using nail polish I use nail hardener/strengthener instead of a base coat.

Check out the 7-Step Magic Nail Formula to get unbreakable nails!


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