Style & Beauty

At-Home Manicures for These Days of Isolation

Here are some tips for giving yourself long-lasting nails

Photo: iStock/Kerkez.


Given the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you won’t be heading out to a salon for a manicure anytime soon, and that means doing the job yourself, but with fewer products to choose among now that only pharmacies remain open.

Here are some tips if you’re hoping for a long-lasting home manicure.

Use a base coat and top coat.

Start by picking up a base coat and top coat the next time you’re at the pharmacy. The base coat will help your nail polish stick to the nail longer, and the top coat will form a protective layer over the polish, providing a longer-lasting manicure. Orly sells a rubberized base coat, but if you can’t find that, Revlon also sells inexpensive base and top coats.

Use a gel polish.

Make sure to get a good quality polish to sit between your base and top coats. You can find gel polishes at most drugstores. Miracle Gel by Sally Hansen has a wide variety of opaque colours and glittery shades that come in a kit with a top coat. You should apply two coats of polish—in thin layers, rather than all at once—and let them dry before adding your top coat. If you apply too much polish at once, it can easily smudge. When applying the top coat, swipe it around the tips of your nails so they become firmer and less likely to chip.

Avoid rookie mistakes.

To avoid chipping around your cuticles, apply the colour about a millimetre away from your skin. Use three strokes, starting from the middle and then going to the left and right.

The shape of your nails also makes a difference. Square or stiletto-shaped can tear more easily if they get caught on something. You’re less likely to break a nail if you keep your nails round. When shaping your nail, file in one direction, otherwise you can weaken the fibers in your nails.