Hey college students!

Is there anything we love more than getting a little pampered? I have a major crush on manicures, but the truth is, they don’t exactly fit into a college student’s budget. I’ve got some simple steps to an at-home (or dorm) manicure that will save you money and keep those pretty paws lasting longer!


1) Prep. Begin by washing your hands and removing any leftover polish from your last manicure. Also take this time to buff your nails with a fine-grade nail buffer. These are easy to find at drugstores and beauty supply stores, and there’s no need to buy one for more than a few dollars. A $1 nail buffer will do the job just as well as a $7 one.

2) Polish. Use a soft nail file to shape your nails to the length and finish of your desire. If you have very thick or acrylic nails, opt for a more coarse file.

3) Prime. Brush off any excess dust from your nails and apply the base coat of your choice. I prefer “milky” base coats over base coats that double as top coats. I just find that they last much longer, provide a smoother base for your nail color and protect your natural nails from being stained by polish.

4) Paint. Apply a thin layer of your choice, polish and let dry. Repeat this step until you reach your desired opacity. I find that building with thin layers prevents chipping as well as drying much faster. Not only can thick coats look sloppy, but cause the polish to chip in large pieces, making your mani’s longevity much shorter.

5) Perfect. Once your mani is 80-90% dry, finish with a glossy topcoat to give your polish a beautiful shine and help it last longer. I’d recommend Revlon Colorstay or Seche Vite. They’re both great shiny topcoats that dry quickly and can help your nail polish last for days without a single chip.

Good luck and stay pretty!