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Shades of Fall with Essie + Home Manicure Tips!

I've always been a fan of painting my own nails - partly because I love changing the colors to match my moods/outfits, and partly because I have never personally gotten good results from gel/shellac manicures. The "no-chip" thing is a total myth where I'm concerned, and still barely lasts 72 hours with my nails. It's hard to justify an expensive salon lifestyle when I'm not getting the desired results!

One of the best perks of painting my own nails is that it saves me a ton of money, which allows me to justify the occasional $8 splurge on a new nail color that will last countless uses! That's why every season I treat myself to a few new colors, and fall is always my favorite one to shop for.

I've made more than a few mentions of my obsession over Essie on this blog over the years...but I really just think their colors knock it out of the park! They're always so different and unique, and the polish is a great quality. 



Cocktail Bling | Merino Cool | Angora Cardi | Power Clutch

I've had a lot of friends say that they would love to paint their own nails, but that they're terrible at it. Honestly, practice definitely makes perfect with self-manicures, but there are also a few tips that can make it less frustrating and more relaxing!

1. Use a good polish. Whether you're essie-obsessed like I am, or all about O.P.I. it's crucial to have a good quality polish that won't stick or clump, and that lasts over time. Make sure you're using a brand that you can trust to come out clean and smooth every time. If you really love the long-lasting no-chip manicures you can get at the salon, don't worry - most brands are now offering Gel versions of their polishes in all major beauty and drugstores!

2. Keep Q-Tips Handy. For those with shaky hands or a habit of 'coloring outside the lines', having Q-Tips on standby to dip in remover and wipe the edges of your nail clean is a game-changer. As long as you're quick with the clean-up, there's no reason you shouldn't have any trouble getting nails that look professional and mess-free.

3. Taking the Extra Steps does Count. You may not have time for a full fluff-and-buff manicure every single time, but when you do, it's best to take those few extra mins to clean everything up. You wouldn't be happy if you went to a salon and they went straight to the polish, would you?! Soak your nails in some warm soapy water, clip them to the desired length and clear out any painful hangnails or over-grown cuticles. Having healthy nails actually does help nail polish last longer and gives it a cleaner look. 

4. Avoid Smudges. A lot of my friends also say they can't sit still long enough to paint their own nails, because they always end up bumping into something or touching them before they're dry. I always make sure I've done my entire nightly routine before I get started, so that nothing can interrupt my important "sitting still" time. I usually promise myself I will watch the length of one TV episode before I try to do other things - and setting your phone on Do Not Disturb helps keep you from being tempted to scroll and smudge!

5. In A Rush? Dry Them Fast. Sometimes we don't all have the luxury of sitting still and doing nothing for 30 minutes. When I run into this issue, I try to let them air-dry as long as possible, and then I opt for my back-up plan...my hair dryer! Set it to a low heat setting and blow it evenly over your fresh nails to speed up the drying process so you can head out the door. 

Do you prefer home manicures or visits to the salon? Does anyone else have the problem with gel/shellac that I do, or am I just destined to never make it work?!

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