A fresh manicure is one of the quickest, easiest ways to feel instantly pulled together. But if you can't get to the nail salon right now, don't worry: a long-lasting at-home mani is actually one of the simplest DIY treatments to pull off, as long as you have a few key tools in your kit.

Woman painting her nails

Here's what you'll need:

  • Base coat

  • Top coat

  • Your polish color of choice

  • Nail clippers

  • Nail file

  • Nail polish remover

  • Hydrating nail, facial, or body oil (like Balancing Oil)

(FYI, one of our favorite nail brands, Olive & June, has all of this and more in their super cute Studio Box kit)

Here's how to do it:

  1. Completely remove any nail polish you currently have on.

  2. If you need to clip your nails, do so now to the desired length.

  3. Use your file to shape your nails, making sure to file in only one direction so you don't cause the nail to split or peel. Use this handy visual guide to choose your shape. (Tip: the almond shape is the most finger-slimming, while round is the least likely to break.)

  4. Massage a small drop of Balancing Oil into each cuticle and let the oil absorb for a minute or two. Wrap your pointer finger in a tissue or paper towel and gently push each cuticle down.

  5. Thoroughly remove all oil from your nails with nail polish remover. (This step is non-negotiable if you want a long-lasting mani.)

  6. Paint on your base coat in three strokes: one up the center of each nail, one up the right side, and one up the left. Don't forget to seal the tip by painting your base coat across the top tip of your nail, then let your base coat fully dry for a minute. (These steps will prevent your mani from chipping or peeling.)

  7. Paint on a thin coat of color the same way, sealing the tip and waiting for the color to fully dry. Repeat with a second coat of color, and even a third if your color is very light or sheer.

  8. Finally, paint on your top coat the same way—this is the most essential coat to seal the tip!

  9. Let your mani fully dry, then moisturize your cuticles and add shine by massaging in Balancing Oil again.