For most women, having beautiful fingernails is a must. Most people will notice your nails and hands at first glance, which means horrible manicuring (or worse, dirty nails!) can lead to a lot of embarrassment. But aside from that, having perfectly manicured nails makes us women more confident and beautiful. It’s sort of like makeup, it would be really uncomfortable to leave home without great looking nails.

Don’t fret – you don’t need to spend a lot of money at a salon to get a pretty manicure job. This article gives you five simple tips to achieve pretty manicures. All of the steps indicated are easy to follow and can be done without professional assistance.

With these five tips, you can get the prettiest manicure entirely on your own at home.

Tip #1: Let Your Nail Polish Dry

5 Tips for the Prettiest Manicure let your nial polish dryBelieve it or not, a lot of women are very impatient when it comes to applying nail polish. At room temperature, you should allow your nails to dry for at least 10 to 15 minutes. That might sound like a drag but in this case, patience is a virtue.

If you are in a little bit of a hurry, you can help your nails dry faster although it isn’t always recommended to do so. Avoid using a blow dryer because it could push and smudge the nail polish in to uneven layers. It is better to dip your fingernails in a bowl of ice cold water; just make sure to take out the ice cubes because they can dent your nails.

Tip #2: The Lesser the Strokes, the Better

5 Tips for the Prettiest Manicure the lesser the strokes, the betterAs much as possible, you want to apply your nail polish in just three strokes – one down the middle and one stroke per side. The more layers you apply, the thicker the nail polish will be and the end result will look uneven and thick. This will make it harder to dry and you could end up with bubbles of air and obvious lines on your nails.

Tip #3: Rely on Nail Polish Removers

5 Tips for the Prettiest Manicure rely on nail polish removersIf in any case you make a mistake, never scratch off the nail polish. Scratching can ruin the surface of your nails and you will have to smoothen the surface all over again, taking you back to square one. To save time and maintain quality, it is better to rely on nail polish removers.

When applying nail polish removers, use soft headed Q-tips because it is very easy to make mistakes with cotton buds. It might take some more time but the advantage of Q-tip accuracy will ensure your nails will look like they were professionally done.

Tip #4: Take Care of Your Cuticles

5 Tips for the Prettiest Manicure take care of your cuticlesUnfortunately, a lot of women tend to forget about their cuticles. Before applying nail polish, you need to push the cuticles all the way back up. When the cuticles have been forgotten, you could end with layers filled with bubbles and uneven edges. In the end, it looks very amateurish.

Tip #5: Learn How to File and Trim

5 Tips for the Prettiest Manicure file and trim nailsEvenly applied nail polish won’t do you any good if you do not know how to file and trim your nails. Uneven edges and poorly trimmed sides will make your nails look like they were cut by a five year old instead of a manicure expert. Apply nail polish only when the nails have been properly trimmed – your nails should look beautiful even without any colors or glam.

Follow these tips and be on your way to having pretty nails every time without burning a hole in your pocket!