Not so long ago did you imagine that you’d ever need to know how to do a manicure and pedicure at home? Well, what goes up has a nasty habit of going right back down and the key to not having ugly nails in those months when your budget is stressed is to learn how to a polished (if you’ll forgive the pun), professional DIY manicure and pedicure.

Shop at a beauty supply store to get top of the line manicure supplies for the best results or your DIY manicure may waste more money than it saves. The money that you spend for top quality nail clippers, polish and files is an excellent investment even if the prices are more expensive than what they cost at the local discount store.

Here’s a basic supply list:

  • A large bowl that is big enough for your hands to fit inside and heavy enough not to tip over easily that’s been filled with warm water, soap (I like to use my favorite body wash but it’s your choice)
  • Cotton makeup remover pads or large cotton balls. Don't waste money on small skimpy cotton balls as you will just end up using more. Starting off with big ones will save you time.
  • Nail polish remover with or without acetone
  • Orange wood cuticle sticks and cuticle cream
  • High-quality hand cream
  • Nail clippers and toenail clippers (I never use my nail clippers for my toenails or vice versa)
  • Nail files
  • Nail polishes including base coat, color coat and top coat
  • Terrycloth hand towels and paper towels

In my experience the best time to do a manicure and pedicure at home is immediately following a bath after you have exfoliated both your hands and feet.

It’s considered fashionable at the time of these instructions on how to do a manicure and pedicure at home to match your fingernail polish and toenail polish. Of course fashion trends have a way of changing in the blink of an eye.

Once you have your bowl of warm water and soap and your manicure supplies arranged on the table where you will be working you are ready to start.

Step One. After washing your hands with soap and water to remove all lotions and oils, you will then remove all of the old nail polish from your fingernails for a fresh start. Once the old polishes removed wash your hands once again to remove the finger nail polish remover.

Step Two. Shape your nails using the nail clippers or the fingernail file depending on whether you need to reduce the length or just smooth rough edges. When using your fingernail file he will start at the outer edge and smooth across the middle in one motion. Never saw a back-and-forth as this will weaken your nails and make them prone to splitting.

Step Three. Soak your hands in your bowl of warm water for around five minutes.

Step Four. After soaking, dry your hands with a cotton towel.

Step Five. Place a small amount of cuticle cream on each of your fingernails and massage it into your cuticles

Step Six. It’s not a good idea to clip your cuticles because of the danger of infection. Instead use your Orange wood cuticle stick to gently push your cuticles back and shape them.

Step Seven. At this stage, some instructions on how to do a manicure and pedicure at home recommend that at this time your should rinse your hands and apply a coat of your moisturizing hand cream and wait five minutes before wiping away the excess. I disagree with this as there may be some cream left on your fingernails resulting in failure of the base coat to adhere to the fingernail. Try it both ways and make a decision as to what works for you.

Step Eight. Upon a layer of base coat to each fingernail and allow to dry completely before moving onto the next step.

Step Nine. Apply one layer up your color coat of polish and allow it to dry completely.

Step Ten. Apply a second layer of color coat and allow it to dry completely

Step Eleven. When you are certain that all layers are completely dry (the longer you wait the better the results and less chance of smudging) you can then put the finishing touches on your DIY manicure with top coat. This is my favorite step in how to do a manicure and pedicure at home because it’s what gives your fingernails that deep, gleaming polished look.


Step One. Exfoliate your feet by scrubbing and using a pumice stone on your heels and any calluses you may have.

Step Two. Some instructions for how to do a manicure and pedicure at home recommend at this point to apply moisturizer but I disagree with this recommendation cause of residual oils being left on the nails that may prevent your polish from lasting as well as it might when applied to a clean oil free nail.

Step Three. Shape your toenails using your toenail clippers and then smoothed them using a file.

Step Four. Massage cuticle cream into the cuticles and use your orange wood stick to gently press them back using the lightest pressure possible to avoid damage to the nail bed.

Step Five. Rinse feet making sure that all cuticle creams or moisturizer if you chose to use one has been removed

Here’s the fun part in how to do a manicure and pedicure at home; assume the toenail painting position which is which is sitting with your knee pulled tightly to your chest with one hand holding the toenail that you are polishing while the other hand applies polish.

Step Six. Using toe separators, tightly wadded up Kleenex or cotton balls separate your toes to avoid smudging from one toe to the next.

Repeat Steps Eight through Eleven of the DIY manicure instructions.

Return to Celebrity News, Purses, Makeup and Shoes to see more tips on DIY manicures and pedicures and intructions for how to do a manicure and pedicure at home with professional results.