How To Manicure Your Nails
- Do a French Manicure Yourself

This page tells you all about how to manicure your nails along with some tips and instructions for nail care and the steps to do a French Manicure yourself.

A manicure is a wonderful way to keep your hands looking as good as possible. 

It can also improve your own self esteem and doesn’t have to cost too much, especially if you do it yourself at home.

Manicures – The Basics

What Is a Manicure?

The basic definition of a manicure is the treatment of the nails and the hands. 

This is something that is carried out in order to improve the appearance of the fingernails.

The nails are filed and shaped into an orderly fashion so that they look neat and tidy and are free from any lumps and bumps.

This sort of treatment is very popular with lots of women and men are also getting in on the act. 

People have the option of doing their own manicure but a lot of people like to go to a nail salon to get the work done by a nail care professional.

The Benefits of a Manicure

There are several benefits to be gained from having a manicure done.

If you have uneven fingernails then this is one way to ensure that they are all level and of the same length. 

It is a great way to help promote healthy nail growth too as the process of moisturising the hands and fingers will help to stimulate the blood flow and replenish any lost nutrients.

Different Types of Manicures

Manicures have always been a wonderful treat. 

If you have healthy and strong nails, you may only need to get them trimmed and polished so that they look as good as can be. 

If your nails are not in very good condition then there are lots of solutions available to you.  

The most popular and well known manicures treatments include the following:
French manicure
American manicure
Brazilian manicure
Paraffin wax manicure
Hot stone manicure

What Tools Are Required For a Manicure?

If you are interested in doing a manicure treatment at home then there are several items that you will need in order to get the desired results.

Some of these things are items that everyone should have in the possession anyway.  These include:
Nail clippers
Nail brush
Pumice stone
Emery board
Orange stick
Nail buffer
Hand moisturising cream
Small bowl
Clear nail polish

The Essential Items For Your Manicure Kit

How To Manicure Your Nails

If you are interested in doing your own manicures at home, you want to make sure that you have all the necessary instruments and equipment so that you end up with a professional look. 

With a little bit of practice you could even offer your services to friends and family members and earn a little extra money on the side.

Here is a list of the essential pieces of equipment that should be in your manicure kit.

Nail Clippers

The majority of nail clippers are made from stainless steel although you can also get sets that are made from plastic.

They are available in a variety of sizes but you will want to be sure to find a compact one that is easy to carry around. 

Some products are made with a nail file attached which you can use to neaten the nail once you have cut it.

Nail File

Alternatively you can buy a separate nail file.

These also come in a range of sizes and can be made from different types of materials.

You can buy nail files made from ceramic, metal, glass, crystal or the more common version which are emery boards.

The purpose of the nail file is to smooth and shape the rough edges of the nails, once they have been cut with the nail clippers.

It is a good idea to buy a set of emery boards which are made with different levels of coarseness so that you can use the more abrasive ones to shape the nail then use a finer emery board to finish off the job.

Orange Stick

An orange stick is used to clean the fingernails and to push back the cuticle.

They were originally made from orangewood, which is where they got the name. You can buy wooden sticks or the metal version. 

The metal versions last a lot longer but the wooden orange sticks are much more hygienic as you can dispose of them when you are finished and do not have to worry about sterilising any equipment.

Base Coat

The benefit of applying a base coat is that it will help to protect your nails and it will also help to extend the life of the colour nail polish that you choose to use.

These days you can purchase a bottle of base coat that has been infused with vitamins and calcium which all help to feed and strength your natural nails.

Nail Polish Remover

The main use of this product is to remove any old polish before you are ready start the whole manicure process.

You will also want to use it to correct any mistakes that you might make as you apply a fresh coat of polish.

Cotton Pads

The easiest way to use nail polish remover is to dab a little bit onto a cotton pad and gently apply to the nail.

You can also use the cotton pads to wipe off any excess water after you have soaked your fingers in a water solution.

Top Coat

Once you have applied the nail varnish of your choice, for example, the French manicure or a solid colour, you will want to use a top coat to not only prevent the varnish from chipping but to also help your manicure to last even longer. 

You only need to apply one coat and it will dry quite quickly.

There are plenty of other tools and equipment that you can get to look after your nails but these are the essential things that will ensure that you can create a perfect manicure at home.

French Manicure – The Natural Looking Nail Treatment

The French manicure is just one example of the type of treatment that women choose in order to improve the look of their nails. 

This is the most natural looking nail treatment available and can be achieved with your own nails, if they are in good condition or you can recreate the look by using artificial acrylic tips.

This style has been around for centuries but the popularity grew during the 1920s in France, hence the name.

What Does the French Manicure Look Like?

Do a French Manicure Yourself

This style resembles the natural look of the nail. 

The base of the nail is normally polished with a clear or pale pink nail varnish and the tips are painted in solid white.

There has been an explosion of new nail salons opening up on almost every street corner and in every shopping mall. 

This means that you have the opportunity to get your nails done by a professional for quite competitive prices. 

If money is no object, you could set up a regular appointment to get your nails done or this can be seen as a treat if you are budget conscious.  

Alternatively you can actually learn to recreate this look in the comfort of your own home. 

It may take a little longer to perfect but with practice, you will get better and you could even end up with a set of nails that look as if they had been done professionally.

How to do French Manicure Yourself

The following items are needed in order to create the French manicure:

  • A nail buffer
  • A nail file
  • A base coat
  • A pale pink nail varnish
  • A white nail varnish
  • A top coat
  • An orange stick
  • A cuticle softener

French manicure guide tips

Here are the steps needed to perfect a DIY French manicure.

1.    Remove any old nail varnish

2.    File and shape nails so that they have a square edge

3.    Soak your nails in a cuticle softener

4.    Dry them off and use the orange stick to ease the cuticle back until they are even

5.    Buff each nail to produce a smooth surface

6.    Apply the base coat varnish and allow to dry

7.    Apply the French manicure guide tips

8.    Carefully apply the white varnish around the guide tips and allow to dry

9.    Apply a second white coat and allow to dry

10.    Remove the guide tips and apply the pale pink nail varnish. Allow to dry

11.    Apply a second coat and allow to dry

12.    Apply the top coat varnish and allow to dry

13.    Your DIY French manicure is now complete.

It will most probably take a while for you to perfect this technique and you may end up with white nail varnish over the main part of your nails. 

All you need to do is to take a little nail varnish remover to correct the little mistakes and then reapply.

Alternative Nail Treatments

If your nails are not in the best of conditions then a great option is to get artificial nails attached. 

Technology has advanced some much that there is no need to suffer with the fake looking plastic nails of the past. 

You now have the choice of using a variety of artificial nails including the acrylic, gel or wrap nails based nail extensions.

I don't use either of the above as my nails are strong and long by themselves, but I still also use a packet of plastic false nails that are handy to just for those times when I break a nail.

This usually serves to even out my nails, otherwise the other nails are at risk of breaking too because of having one short nail.

And the false nail protects the shorter nail while it is growing out.

They are simple to apply at home and you paint them just like you do the rest of your own nails.

Usually you need to remove them every week and reposition them as your nail grows away from the cuticle.

Learn About Acrylic & Gel Nails To Improve Your Manicure

Once you have decided that you would like to treat yourself to a professional manicure, you will have to consider what treatment would be best for you. 

If you are unhappy with your own nails, you can now get a set of artificial nails to improve their appearance in an instance. 

You may actually be surprised to discover that there are different types of artificial nails that you can choose.

Acrylic Nails:

Acrylic nails are the best known type and therefore the most popular choice. 

They are relatively cheap and can totally transform your appearance within a very short period of time. 

These extensions will provide you with a set of nails that are hardwearing and will protect your own natural nail.

The materials contained in acrylic nails include a combination of acrylic powder and mixed liquid acrylic.

This mixture is used to create both nail tips and complete nails.

The benefits of these types of extensions mean that they you can choose a classic design or you can have some fun and opt for a really wild pattern. 

Some acrylics can be purchased with the design already imprinted, which makes the process even quicker.  

The disadvantage to using acrylic nails is that they can look really fake, if they have not been applied correctly.

It can take a little bit of work to make them look natural. 

Gel Nails:

Gel nail extensions actually contain the same chemical as the acrylic version. 

The main difference is that these contain additional chemical (called oligomers) which make these nails much more flexible.

There are two types of gel nails that you can choose from. 

You can either get the light cured nails or no light gels. 

In order to use the light cured nails, the extensions need to be attached to the fingers and then they are placed under UV lights in order to harden them into place.

The no light gels use a different method to attach the extension to the finger. 

This needs a special gel activator spray to be applied to the nails in order to harden and get them to set.

The biggest advantage to using gel nail extensions is the fact that these look completely natural. 

They blend in with your own nails so you could choose to use a very pale nail polish and no one would be able to tell the difference.

The disadvantage is that these nails are more expensive and you need a lot more equipment in order to achieve this look. 

If the nail breaks it is much harder to fix than the acrylic option.

If you are not sure which is the best option for you, it is a really good idea to consult with a professional who will be able to advise you. 

They will be able to help you weigh up the options so that you end up with the best manicure that suits you.


When you do get professional manicures, make sure that all the equipment used is sterilized and that the salon is hygienic - or you risk infections and possibly catching a nail fungus

Beware of Fingernail Fungus

If you are looking after your nails by getting regular manicures, you will want to ensure that they look their best at all times.

You need to therefore be aware of the fact that there is an infection that attacks the fingernails and toenails.

Some people get this condition due to the use of nail extensions but there are other reasons for this infection. 

It is only a small proportion of society that suffers from this infection which is caused by a variety of things. 

The medical name for the condition is Onychomycosis. It means a fungal infection of the nail.

What Does Nail Fungus Look Like

The appearance of this particular condition can be quite distressing.  The fingernail or toe nail can become discoloured. 

It will vary from person to person but the nail can turn yellow or have a cloudy looking appearance.

The texture can be quite rough and in some cases, the nail will crumble and fall away from the nail bed. 

If this is left untreated, some people will actually lose the complete nail to this condition as the fungus slowly destroys the nail.

Fingernail fungus can look quite painful but the majority of sufferers do not feel any physical pain. 

Causes of Fingernail Fungus

There are several reasons why people get this infection.

It can be down to the physical condition of the individual or down to the external environment. 

Here are just a few of the causes.

Poor Circulation

One of the reasons why fingernail fungus is linked to people who enjoy getting regular nail treatments and using nail extensions is due to the fact that this can lead to poor air circulation around the fingers. 

Fungus can prosper in damp or moist areas so the use of nail extensions can become a great breeding ground for this condition.

Weak Immune System

If your body does not have the necessary vitamins and nutrients to fend off infections, then this can lead to the development of this condition. 

Nail fungus will take advantage of a weak immune system and will attack the nails without fear of any natural antibodies to prevent it from spreading.

Effects of Trauma

It is very easy to injure your hands or feet. 

A simple knock against a hard surface can cause unseen trauma. 

At the time, you may not even realise that your nails have been affected as you will feel fine but the effect can go undetected until you notice a slight discoloration of your nail.


Nail fungus loves to grow in moist areas and the type of clothing that you wear can promote this type of environment. 

If the hands are subjected to humid conditions, this can promote the growth of the fungus. 

A build up of moisture can occur in socks and shoes that are made from synthetic materials which also aids in the spread of this condition.

Proper Treatment of Nail Fungus

Nail fungi are known for their tenacity - and they don’t give up easily once they’ve settled in.

Doctors prescribe a variety of different treatments in an effort to try to kill this frustrating condition and the effectiveness of the treatment depends on the stage of the fungi development.

If the first attempt isn’t successful, then you have to pay to see the doctor again and buy even more medication.

Fortunately, there are some home remedies that you can use to get rid of nail fungus once and for all. These remedies don’t have any of the dangerous side effects, either.

Mouthwash is known to kill nail fungus. Look for ones containing the ingredient salicylate thymol. You can treat the infection one of two ways.

Either place the infected finger or toenail in a container with the undiluted mouthwash and soak for half an hour or using a sterile cotton swab, cover the infected nail with the mouthwash. You should see results in 4 to 8 weeks. 

Mouthwash can also be mixed with vinegar or you can use vinegar alone.

If you use vinegar alone, the main side effect with this treatment is the strong odor.

But it’s a fast acting treatment - and you can see positive changes within 7 to 14 days.

The reason vinegar is so effective is that it’s a natural acid.

The acid changes the criteria that the fungus needs in order to live. When you make the environment unfriendly, it kills the fungi.

You can use remedies that don’t allow the fungus to grow - such as products containing menthol, camphor and eucalyptus.

You’ll find this in vapor rubs that are used to treat coughs. You put the rub straight on to the affected nail - including the surrounding area and cuticle.

Another great home remedy to use is baking soda. Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate, which is a natural antifungal.

To use this treatment, you make a paste using the baking soda and apply it to the affected nail.

There are also natural fungal treatments that contain tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a natural antimicrobial, which kills fungus and halts new growth.

Lavender oil is another natural treatment for nail fungus, but you have to make sure that you get the essential oil.

Using a dropper, treat the affected nail with one drop when you get up in the morning and one drop before you go to bed.

Oil of oregano is a home remedy that contains antifungal ingredients, too - and when combined with olive oil, can kill nail fungus.

How to Eat Better for Stronger Nails

Diet for healthy nails

Your nutritional intake is a key to maintaining healthy nails.

Doctors can tell a lot about their patients’ overall health simply by checking their nails.

Problems with the thyroid and being iron deficient can cause brittle or weak nails.

But no matter what causes nails that are weak or that don’t look their best, there are some steps you can take to get great looking, stronger nails.

One of those steps is to make sure that you’re getting the biotin you need in your diet.

Biotin helps give you energy, helps your skin look great and helps regulate glucose.

Biotin is a vitamin that’s part of the B-complex family of vitamins and the benefit of this vitamin is how it works to help fight against weak nails.

Biotin metabolizes the foods you eat so that your body can use the vitamins and minerals in the foods for whatever your body needs.

There are a few different ways that you can get more biotin benefits for your body and one of those ways is by paying attention to the foods you eat and making sure that you consume foods rich in biotin.

Remember that as with many vitamins, when you prepare the food by cooking it, you do lose some of the mineral amount.

But foods like eggs, specifically the yolk, are very rich in biotin.

Not only that, but many people don’t know that eggs also have antioxidants - so they’re doubly good for you!

Avoid raw eggs when trying to increase your biotin intake because raw eggs prevent your body from being able to utilize the very nutrient you’re trying to add.

Some meat foods are great sources to raise your biotin intake – including liver, pork and certain types of fish.

Legumes also have high levels of biotin. Make sure you eat plenty of peas like black-eyed peas.

Consuming some extra helpings of beans like soybeans and adding some alfalfa to your diet are all ways to get the beneficial boost of more biotin.

Peanut butter and oatmeal are great sources of it, too.

Fruits are a good source of biotin and you can find biotin in fruits like avocado, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, bananas and more.

Peanut butter is a food that’s rich in biotin.

With the many foods that contain biotin, it will be easy to change your daily menus to make sure you’re increasing the amount of this essential mineral you need.

Your body’s nails are made of keratin and what biotin does to help the nails is to aid in the production of this necessary protein so that you end up with strong, healthy nails.

If you’re eating plenty of foods rich in biotin, but would like some extra help for your nails, then consider using a supplement or multivitamin containing biotin.

Continue to Research How to Grow Strong Long Nails

cuticle care - don't do this!

I hope that this page showing you how to manicure your nails, and the steps to do a French Manicure yourself, have been helpful to you,

Learning how to care for your nails is an essential health and hygiene requirement.

There are many things to learn on that subject, and there are many popular manicure habits that are not actually good for your nails.

For example, it is not a good idea to cut your cuticles, despite many nail salon technicians wanting to do that to your nails. 

Your cuticles should always be gently pushed towards your knuckle with an orange stick, not cut off.

 Now if you would like to know more about myths like this, and how to grow strong long nails, and to do it in a way that you can see noticeable improvement in only 7 days, then you need to check out my book with all the information and step-by-step instructions of what to do for  7 ways to help your nails become healthy and beautiful again, and to keep them that way for your lifetime.

More Resources

As you realized when reading the instructions above for how to manicure your nails there are some basic nail manicure supplies that you need to have on hand to care for your nails.

So I have put a selection of these nail care products below for you to check out. 

If you buy online here they will be usually on sale for less cost than most retail outlets, and they get conveniently delivered to your door as well!

Here are some products you can buy online that I think look very useful:

7 Ways in 7 Days to Long, Strong Nails

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