I’ve been exploring DIY options for nails over the past few months. I can do the straight forward nails no problem but for fun, but I started looking up various ways to take things up a notch. I’ve got no where exciting to go these days but heck, why not? Instagram and Pinterest have no shortage of inspiring ideas! You can totally experiment and just wing it — or if you want to look as good as coming out of a nail salon, here are few ideas and quick tips:

HOW TO DIY YOUR NAILS AS GOOD AS THE SALON:

First, you want to make sure you have all the right tools, nail polish and extra fun things – decals, nail paint on brushes etc. Amazon has alot of stuff in this category at all sorts of price points!

Remove any old nail polish and give your nails a gentle buff to smooth out any bumps and jags. Even out the lengths of your nails overall so they are more uniform.

When it comes to nail polish select ones that not only have colour staying power but look for better options that offer nutrients and benefits for healthier nails. I love the BioSculpture Gemini line.  Also, choose one with a decent brush for a more accurate and even application. This is a HUGE must! Colours of the season return to deeper richer hues including Gemini’s Hot Chocolate, Ashes of Roses, and Gorgeous Decay and EVO shades in Betsy and Veronica.

Always use a Base Coat: A basecoat offers something for colour to adhere to for a longer-lasting manicure or pedicure. Also, if you choose something that has added benefits, that can also help maintain healthy nails.  I’ve been using Ethos Oxicoat that is nourishing with botanicals and antioxidant properties. The Ethos line, if you haven’t heard about it before is designed with your nail health in mind. With winter coming I’ll be looking to add the Ethos Seaweed Calcium Base that will add nutrients to hard, dry and brittle nails since my nails tend to break easier in the extreme colder weather and excessive handwashing and hand sanitizer use which will be inevitable this coming season.

Always use a Top Coat: I never skip this step as it helps protect colour and help to prolong a manicure or pedicure. Ethos Mirror Top Coat works to protect colours and nails from scratches and helps to minimize chipping from everyday wear if you like a glossy sheen to your nails. I also reapply this top coat about a week later to keep the manicure lasting a bit longer than the average wear.

Care for your hands & nails: use nourishing almond oil and reapply a top coat three days after to help maintain a healthy manicure or pedicure.  Gently use a good foot scrub to slough off rough patches and dead skin. I am also diligent about using a good hand and foot cream every night after I have a bath to keep skin from drying and cracking. I’ve been using L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand and their Foot Cream religiously.

NAIL KIT ON THE GO: I keep a compact nail tool kit handy on the go in case my nails ever break unexpectedly. It also makes for a great little holiday gift for friends (hint). This one I found at Sephora and ordered online.

NAIL TRENDS TO TRY AT HOME:

When it comes to nail trends, I find lots of them are fun to look at — they inspire me to add a bit of fun to a well-polished look even on just one “accent nail”. Here are some of my favourites that easily fit into every day – that still look professional yet expressive.

GRADIENT: neutral shades are popular and this is an easy fall nail trend to do at home. Just follow one colour palate.

MODERN FRENCH: Another easy one for home is this modern take on a classic. Work in a colour tip instead of the predictable white. Or try a reverse tip where the colour is used on the nail bed (bottom of the nail).

MATTE: We’ve been seeing this lifestyle trend happen in other industries from home appliances to cars. It’s a way to tone down the bling and ideal for these times. I asked my nail person what was the best way to get this look, she tells me that you should complete the manicure from base coat, colour, and top coat – let slightly dry and then apply the matte top coat. I recently tried this with one accent nail (the one with the lightning bolt). I love the subtleness of the matte finish and even after a week there was no scratches visible to the surface.

SOAP BUBBLES: When I first saw this design I was obsessed. It’s more about a subtle texture application. Here’s a video that shows how to create this look.

NEGATIVE SPACE: I’m currently obsessed with negative space designs on nails. This is where you apply a sheer/translucent tinted nail polish and then layer on a design, pattern or opaque colours on top allowing the clear base to come through.

FUNFETTI: Not just seen on donuts and cookies! One of the easiest to apply trends is to add on a little glitter. Looks great over any colour (or barely there colour). Try a half nail glitter polish application or even apply to the tips (think fun French manicure). Let the glitter nail polish application dry and then add a top coat to protect. Hard to have a bad day with just a hint of glitter.

ROSE QUARTZ: I love the look of gems in my home. I have crystals near my bed and close to my soaker tub. Quartz, Jade smooth rocks have mesmerizing looks that are soothing. This look is being spotted on nails globally and it’s stunning.

Minimalist Graphic Art: A line here, a spot there. The key to wearing this look is less is more. You can try to achieve the line looks with decals (I found a few at local drug store nail section)- or if you are willing to go freehand – use the finest tip nail brush/tool with a rich color.