My Top-Secret Trick for Getting a 2-Week Manicure at Home—No Gels Required

My Top-Secret Trick for Getting a 2-Week Manicure at Home—No Gels Required
Meet Byrdie Boy Tynan Sinks—beauty writer, makeup experimenter, fragrance aficionado. Ahead, he shares his secret for an at-home manicure that lasts two weeks—yes, really.

Can you believe this? That we’re still quarantined?! I have had it. We've been cooped up for so long that all of my typical beauty routines are out the window. My skin is dealing with stress breakouts. My hair is all types of outgrown. But my nails? My nails look great.

I know you’ve all already soaked/peeled/scraped off your outgrown gel manicures by now because it’s been, how long since we could go to a nail salon? No, don’t tell me. But not all of us get gel manicures! Some of us still use old-school polish—polish that you can’t cure instantly with a UV light. You have to wait for this polish to dry, like our forefathers did.

Yes, we exist.

So, the thing about me is, while I have absolutely no marketable skills, I can nail a great at-home manicure—one that lasts for a full 14 days. It took years of practice and perfecting, but with a few techniques, tools, and the right products, you, too, can have an at-home manicure that lasts.

                                            A 14 Day At-Home Manicure


I'm not a nail technician, but this is what works for me. Here are some tips to help your nail color last even before you paint your nails.


One big reason that nail polish chips is because, if your nails are weak and pliable, they’re going to bend, and the polish will not bend with it. Chipping is not always the fault of the polish. If you don’t have a strong nail for the polish to cling to, you’re fighting a losing battle. A strengthening base coat is a surefire way to get stronger nails, and yes, they do work. I was skeptical, too, until my nails were hard as hell. We’ll get to my favorite in a sec.


What I have noticed is that when I want to take down the length of the nail, filing it down instead of using nail clippers or manicure scissors always ends up making the polish last longer. But I think it’s because when you file, there are less hard edges and angles, which makes polish cover the nail edge better, and wear longer. That’s just what works for me. 


I know that we want to have even, opaque nail color in one pass, but the fact is, going for full-coverage in one coat makes the nail polish too thick to dry down, which opens you up to smudges. Just do yourself a favor and suffer through the first uneven splotchy coat of nail color—the second coat will even things out. I know it may seem simple, but it took me years to figure this out.


You know those little wooden sticks that have a slanted edge on one side and come to a point on the other? Buy those. They’re stupid cheap and they’re the secret to a clean-looking manicure. They’re the easiest way to clean up the nail if polish wells up onto your cuticle. Just run it around the nail to pick up excess polish and boom– a salon-level manicure from home. I was already decent at doing my own nails when I started using these, but Orange Wood Sticks are what took my nails from an 8 to a 10.

Published: 08.04.2022 09:29 Times Read: 52