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  • Writer's pictureAshley Victoria


Updated: May 22, 2020

#HEYBEAUTIES - Okay, most of us are practicing social distancing and self quarantining and our nails may be looking a hot mess right about now. Don't sweat it, I've got you. In this post you will learn my favorite at-home polishes, what colors are easiest to paint with, DIY tips and tricks, plus how to take off that stubborn gel manicure you got B.Q. (before quarantine).

DIDN'T FIND THE ANSWER TO A NAIL-BASED QUESTION YOU HAVE? Don't worry, shoot me an email at, and I can help you!




1. Be sure to groom prior to application. Before you go ahead and paint your nails remember to cut, file and buff them. Buffing may just be thee most important step, as it creates ridges for your base coat to properly adhere to your nail bed. The difference between a buffed manicure and a non-buffed one could be 3-4 days of additional wear.

2. Never cut your cuticles. It is super gratifying to cut them, I know, but it will only make you more susceptible to bacteria and infection. Boo! Instead, push back your cuticles and condition them with cuticle oil.

3. Cut your hangnails. You can reach for your cuticle cutters when in need of getting rid of hangnails.

4. Don't glob on polish. Depending on the shade and polish type, you will only need 2-3 coats of color. The first coat doesn't need to look perfect, the second and third coats should do the 'heavy-lifting' and perfect the overall color tone and coverage. Bonus - thinner individual coats will allow your nails do dry faster.

5. Manicure sticks are your friend! Even thee most skilled painter still 'draws outside the lines' every now and again, and that's when manicure sticks come in handy. Dab them in a bit of nail polish remover and run them along the edges of the nail(s). Voila - just like that you have refined, professional looking edges.

6. Use a blow-dryer in between each coat. Have a blow-dryer handy to quickly run over each hand in between coats, this will speed up the overall dry-time.

7. A little cold water goes a long way! Cold water will actually cut your dry-time in half. Yep, you read that right. Some may think putting wet nails in water is counterproductive, but they are mislead. Holding your fingers under cold, running water is good, but for the best results, fill a small bowl with cold water and ice cubes (before you paint your nails of course). Dip your nails into the bowl of arctic water for a few seconds at a time.

8. Store your polish properly. If you don't store your polish in a cool, dry environment (sans sunlight), it's color and consistency may be altered. In turn, this can affect how smooth your polish is applied.

9. Use non-acetone polish remover. This version is kinder to your nails and won't cause drying or peeling.

10. Use quality nail polish. The saying, 'you get what you pay for' is always on point. Invest in your at-home polishes, as they will be the difference in a manicure that lasts 3 days or one that surpasses a week. Be sure to check out some of my favorites below.




Essie has some of my favorite shades and their formulas are high-quality. When it comes to polish colors, I tend to stick with neutrals - they work year-round, go with everything, dry quicker and are easier to apply!! I also like to have a reddish-orange hue in my aresenal for pedicures.

Below is a breakdown of Essie's different types of nail polish.


Essie's original polishes boast high, glossy shine finishes with flawless coverage and outstanding durability. The brush also fits every nail size for a streak-free application.


Essie Gel Couture is a luxurious wear polish with instant gel-like shine in a 2-step formula. The Essie gel Couture Collection is inspired by haute couture fashion and is now available in more than 60 nail polish shades.


Expressie is their quick-dry nail polish. This one-step color and shine formula dries in about a minute. It also embodies their first ever angled brush for easy self-application with both hands. Best part?! Expressie is an 8-free, vegan formula, formulated without toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, dibutyl phthalate, xylene, triphenyl phosphate and no animal-derived ingredients.


Essie Gel Couture // Pre-Show Jitters (138), Essie Gel Couture // Top Coat (00), Essie // Mademoiselle (112), Essie Gel Couture // Princess Charming (64), Expressie // Crop Top & Roll (0), and Essie // Geranium (536).







1. Take out some tinfoil. Rip the tinfoil into small squares (10), and set them aside.

2. Take out 10 cotton balls. Set aside.

3. Take out acetone. Pour 2-3 cap-fulls into a small bowl. Set it aside.

4. File the top layer of your polish. Destroying the top layer will help the acetone breakdown the rest of the polish.

5. Dip a cotton ball into acetone. Squeeze excess liquid. Apply to top of nail.

6. Cover acetone-dipped cotton ball with small piece of tinfoil. Wrap around finger.

7. Repeat for each nail.

8. Let nails soak for 10-15 minutes, prior to checking on them.

9. Open each nail one-by-one (don't take all of the foil off at once), and buff/file off the loosened polish.

10. If there is any polish that won't come off with a file, repeat the process again.

*DISCLAIMER* This is NOT sponsored content, my feelings, recommendations and styles are all my own.



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