How To Get the Perfect Manicure at Home

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It's not easy being fabulous. It's also not cheap being fabulous. One of the ways I cut frivolous spending is by doing my manicures at home. Because I swatch so many nail polishes at a time it's not economical for me to get professional manicures done ever because I'd just be removing it in 12 hours. When an event pops up (such as a wedding, night out... etc) and I need to have nice or whimsical nails I take to my favorite supplies and I do it at home. Did I mention I'm not the most artistic person out there nor do I have the steadiest hand?

People like me, rejoice because you too can do nail art! For today's post I'm trying my hand at the popular negative space manicure. You will need the following: Nail Polish (or polishes) of choice plus your chosen base and top coats, Q-tips Precision Tips, stickers of choice (in my case chevron style) and nail polish remover.

Perfect Manicure at home

Apply your base color. In this case, rather than using a clear base polish, I used a nail polish that paints on sheer but that is loaded up with very fine holo shimmer. I think this is a more whimsical take on this "negative space mani" and adds extra oomph. It's important to note you can never have enough bling happening.

At Home Mani Step 1

Attach stickers. We're not all artists and in this house freehand anything is out the window. For this mani I grabbed chevron stickers and placed them across each nail where I wanted the color separation to happen. Tip: Before starting this step make sure that your base color is completely dry. In this case it's sheer, so that doesn't take long, but when you go with a creamy or dark shade give it double the amount of time you think it should have. When I use a creamy shade as a base I paint my nails the night before and do the art in the morning.

At Home Mani Step 2

Add a second color... and maybe a third. Or even a fourth! How ambitious are you, girl?! For this mani I chose two shades - one is a baby blue cream that is saturated with very fine holo shimmer and the other is a metallic rainbow flakie deal with a semi-sheer base but ohhhhh those flakies.... Paint the shades over the areas of the nail where you'd like them to live. Tip: If you'd also like to use a sheer flakie but want it to pop more put a black nail color on the areas you'll be painting. Do this before applying your stickers and, as with the first base polish, let it dry completely.

At Home Mani Step 3

Remove stickers. As soon as you're done applying the polishes remove those stickers. If you wait too long to remove the polish will begin to dry and the sticker will haul off more than you want it to. Because of this I usually do one nail at a time - paint, remove, repeat. Ignore messes on the skin... we'll handle that later. ;) Tip: If after you've removed the stickers your chevron tips aren't as pointed as you'd like use the Q-tips Precision Tips dipped in a bit of the nail polish color to make them a little sharper.

At Home Mani Step 4

Clean up. Not to talk smack on myself, but that's a messy mani. After your nails are dry, or at least mostly so, grab Q-tips Precision Tips and some nail polish remover. Pour a bit of the remover into the cap and dip the Q-tips Precision Tips into it. Methodically press around the nail area cleaning up the fingers and cuticles. Because the Q-tips Precision Tips have tapered ends and a flexible stick it makes it easier to get under the nail and maneuver around so as not to mess up the mani itself. I also like to use this tool to go over the points that need it or clean up mess-ups with the paint. For a chevron mani in particular the Q-tips Precision Tips is perfect for that.

At Home Mani Tools
At Home Mani Cleaned Up

Top it off. Once the nail polishes are completely dry add your top coat. Tip: If you don't wait until complete dryness happens you'll get smearing and then you have to re-read this entire blog post and start your mani all over again. Stick around as long as you want, I love when people hang out, but I know you didn't just do all that work for nothing.

At Home Negative Space Mani

I hope you enjoyed this at-home mani tutorial! What are your tips for an at home manicure?

negative space manicure nail art

Be sure to check out the Q-tips Pinterest Boards for more beauty inspiration.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.