How-To At Home Manicure

5 easy steps for an at-home manicure with Essie on
5 easy steps for an at-home manicure with Essie on

… It’s Easier Than You Think!

One of my most frequently asked questions is about my nails. “What color is that?”, “where do you get them done?”, or “What do you mean you do them yourself?!”. The last one is my favorite.

Now, I’m definitely not one to turn down a professional manicure and love getting them, but I can always find something else I’d rather spend $50 on… and honestly, I’ve perfected the at home manicure over the years! Also, I’ve found that if I do my manicure myself it often lasts longer than when I get it done at the salon, especially since I started using Essie’s Gel Couture line.

A few years ago I used to get gel nails done at a salon religiously every two weeks. But after a while I found out that not only do I LOVE to pick gel polish off my nails (nervous habit) but the acetone soaks and the uv lights where starting to freak me out… like I’m not 1,000% sure it’s bad for you, but I’m also positive it’s not great for you! So I started doing more at home manicures and I love it!

Tools you need for a manicure

Today, since not only is it one of my most frequently asked questions but it also just so happens to be #NationalNailPolishDay, I thought I’d share with you my easy, step-by-step at home manicure tutorial!

Tools Needed:

Ashley Brooke shows how to do an at-home manicure on

Step 1. Trim & File

I trim and file my nails just about every week.  They grow so fast and I like keeping them very short! I usually file my nails in a way that mimics my finger, so mostly rounded!

Step 2. Soak Nails

If I’m not doing my manicure strait out of the bath or shower, soaking your nails in warm soapy water is a MUST! You don’t have to soak them long like, 3-5 minutes, just long enough to soften your cuticles!

Ashley Brooke shows how to do an at-home manicure on
Ashley Brooke shows how to do an at-home manicure on

Step 3. Cuticle Control

Once your nails have soaked you can take the cuticle stick to push back your cuticles and then give them a trim! Trimming your cuticles can seem daunting, but it’s so simple! And with a little practice, you’ll be salon status in no-time!

Step 4. Cuticle Oil

I seriously LIVE for Cuticle Oil! It makes such a huge difference and really helps soften your nail beds and cuticles. Think of it as a moisturizer for your cuticles. I also put it on at night before bed… it really does make a huge difference!

Once you’ve applied cuticle oil and rubbed it in, take a cotton ball and swipe it over your nails to make sure you have a clean slate for the polish!

Ashley Brooke shows how to do an at-home manicure on
Ashley Brooke shows how to do an at-home manicure on

Step 5. Polish Your Nails

One of my favorite things about Essie’s Gel Couture line is that there is no base coat needed, which means faster drying times!! Who doesn’t love that?!

When it comes to painting your nails, everyone has a method, but for me, I do a stroke down the center and then a stroke on each side… and two coats at least (sometimes even three!!).



ESSIE Polish in the color “Lace Me Up”


Ashley Brooke shows how to do an at-home manicure on
Ashley Brooke shows how to do an at-home manicure on

My Favorite Polish Colors:

For manicures: “Lace Me Up” – The Perfect Opaque White/Pink and “Gossamer Garments” – My go-to Sheer Pink! For Pedicures – “Strike a Rose

Once I’ve finished the painting process I then go over with a top coat in the same form: center first, then the sides! I also make sure I’m painting the tips/edges of my nails as well to seal it completely. I find that this makes a huge difference!

…. Now, dry!

I personally think the Essie Gel Couture polish dries incredibly fast and that it truly is “gel-like” when it sets. If you haven’t gotten a chance to try it out, you totally should, and know you’ll be a convert like me!

In partnership with Essie



  1. June 1, 2019 / 9:20 am

    Ok, first I LOVE your jammies!! And also, this is the cutest post ever! I used to get my nails done a lot, but stopped because my nails were angry haha. I love using Essie’s gel top coat, but have never used the Gel Couture! I love the color you picked! Is it Ballet Slippers, or something similar? Thanks for sharing this Ashley!! Have a great weekend!

    xx Libby

  2. Cassandra
    June 1, 2019 / 9:22 am

    Okay this post couldn’t be more timely. I recently just got a gel mani for the first time in a little while and the uv light literally burned my nail beds to the point I nearly didn’t finish the mani! It was PAINFUL. Not what a manicure should be. So thank you for the inspiration. I’m going to buy some fresh polish, because I think that will motivate me to do my own. And hope that it doesn’t look like a Pinterest fail!

    Ps. Your bowl of warm soapy water is even pretty! You are my spirit animal ♥️

    • June 3, 2019 / 12:13 pm

      Cassandra! OUCH! You are right, that is NOT how it’s supposed to be! And good luck, you can totally do it! xx

  3. Christina Thomas
    June 1, 2019 / 10:12 am

    I love this post Ashley! Your nails always look so nice. I admit I am one of the people who always asks you what nail color you are wearing.

  4. Luann
    June 1, 2019 / 10:55 am

    Which polish are you wearing in the picture?

  5. June 1, 2019 / 7:37 pm

    That bowl is so cute! Where did you find it?

    briana |

    • June 3, 2019 / 12:17 pm

      Hi Briana! Isn’t it! Unfortunately it’s not mine, it’s from The Pineapple Pad in Palm Beach!
      But I found a link for you, it’s by Juliska!

      xo – AB

  6. Bailey
    June 7, 2019 / 10:16 am

    Could you link the orange cuticle pusher? It looks like it would be so much healthier on the nail than a metal one! 🙂

  7. Brittany
    June 9, 2019 / 3:53 pm

    OMG I have to have those pajamas! Can you share where they are from please?

  8. April 1, 2020 / 4:07 pm

    Do you have a link for your pjs? They are TOO cute!

    This post has certainly inspired me to do my own at home manicures again. I have been hooked on SNS (dip) nail polish but my nails are so thin right now, trying to take good care of them so they are healthy again and at home manis are going to be a must!

    • April 2, 2020 / 11:27 am

      I’m SO glad! Let me know how it goes!

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