As part of Bailey’s Glamping Party, we had a “First Aid” room but just for nail emergencies! Here the plan was to teach the girls how to do their own manicure and I made up cute little kits I found at Ottos and added in some extras… we ran out of time but next sleepover for sure!

If you are keen for such a party activity here are the instructions I was going to share:

How to Give Yourself a Manicure at Home
There is something about a beautiful manicure that just looks and feels elegant, but the cost of salon manicures can really add up over the course of a year. If you want to save time and money on manicures, you’ll need our essential steps for a DIY manicure at home—for a fraction of the cost.

The Perfect Manicure at Home
Step 1: Essential tools.
Be sure to have the following always assembled and ready:
Toiletry bag/box
Bowl filled with luke warm water, add a little face cleanser
Guest Towel
Nail-polish remover
Cotton swabs or pads
Nail clippers
Emery board and nail buffer
Cuticle pusher/Orange Stick
Hand and Nail moisturiser
Clear Base coat
Nail polish
Clear topcoat

Step 2: Remove any previously applied nail polish.
Non-acetone nail polish removers are gentler than acetone-based ones

Step 3: Shape nails.
Clip your nails, if necessary, then gently file them into shape. A slightly rounded nail shape or square-rounded edge is generally the best way to go but you can be as creative as you want.

Avoid metal or extremely coarse nail files to minimise splintering. Instead, choose a gently abrasive emery board or crystal nail file. Smooth the tops and sides of the nails with a slightly abrasive buffer to ensure an even surface, but don’t forget, if you buff the nails too smooth, the polish won’t adhere as well and can literally slip right off.

Step 4: Soak away.
Place your hands in a bowl of warm (not too hot) water and add a bit of gentle face cleanser or shampoo to the water. Soaking the cuticle before trimming is crucial, but over-soaking actually damages skin and nails, so limit this step to three minutes or less.

Step 5: Remove excess cuticle around the nail.
Using the cuticle pusher from your kit, gently push the cuticle back away from the nail, but don’t push it too far because it can damage nail growth or fray the cuticle.

Be careful NOT to pull, lift, tear, rip, force, or cut into the cuticle in any way. Do NOT clip into the cuticle.It’s better to under-do this step than to overdo it because the cuticle helps protect the nail bed from all sorts of problems.

Now’s also the time to also remove hangnails around the sides of the nail, but again, be careful not to cut into the nail itself or to cut into the skin too deeply.

Step 6: Moisturise.
Massage a rich cream or silky oil into the cuticles and all over the hands to hydrate and replenish skin.

Step 7: Prep for polish.
Moisturising ingredients left on the nail will prevent polish from adhering properly. Using a cotton swab or pad, apply nail-polish remover over the nail’s surface to remove any residue.

Step 8: Paint nails in layers.
If you have weak or brittle nails, use a base coat of ridge-filling nail polish to shore up the nail. A base coat also protects nails from staining (especially important if you prefer red nail polish) and prevents chipping. Next, apply your color polish in layers, allowing each layer to dry between coats. Two coats of color polish followed by a topcoat to add gloss should do the trick. If you’re new at painting nails, use a lighter shade of polish; any mistakes will be less noticeable. Check for and clean up any mistakes—and you’re almost done.

Step 9: Dry Time
It takes time for nails to fully dry, so be patient. A fan helps, but don’t use heat (like from your blow dryer) or the polish will chip and peel. Also, don’t put your nails too close to the fan’s airflow or you’ll end up with bubbles in your polish.

Step 10: Reapply moisturiser.
Keeping your hands and the nail area healthy-looking requires moisturiser.

Tip: Take a few minutes to touch up your manicure every other day with a single layer of top coat. This can make all the difference in keeping up that “from the salon” appearance and durability.