If you've ever spent time painstakingly buffing, filing and painting your nails only to have them chip or smudge within minutes, you'll know just how frustrating it can be.
But with some extra preparation and savvy tools, it is possible to get a salon quality manicure at home that will not only look great, but last longer.
1 – PREPARATION:
First things first ensure your nails are filed and buffed, with all traces of lotion or oil removed so the nail polish bonds.
It is also recommended to push your cuticles back if needed, as these can cause your nail polish to lift.
Start by applying a base coat such as Seche Clear crystal base coat (£9.95) and leave to dry before starting with your nail polish.
2 – PAINTING:
Make giving yourself the perfect manicure a little bit easier with Tweexy (£14.50), a neat little invention that holds your nail varnish steady on your hands while you give yourself a pamper session.
Gel-based nail polishes have more staying power than regular products, with many beauty lines now offering their own at-home gel polishes. Try Nails Inc Gel Effect collection on Essie's Nail Gel Couture line, which has 26 shades to choose from.
Alternatively add a gel-like, glossy finish to any nail varnish with Chanel's Le Gel Coat (£18), part of their reformulated beauty line.
Glitter formulas also often last longer than regular nail varnishes and have the extra benefit of being perfect for party season.
3 – FINISH:
Top off with a drying solution such as Deborah Lippman's The Wait is Over Quick Dry Drops, £18, which miraculously dries your polish within seconds, ensuring no more smudges.
Don't forget to add a top coat to seal in your polish!