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How to do an at-home manicure: Expert tips for creating glamorous winter nails

The beauty tips we all need right now

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Perfectly neat manicures applied at professional nail salons are now a distant memory, but there's no reason why we can't attempt our own at-home pampering session. Pretty winter nails, anyone? Granted, our manicure skills may not live up to the experts, which is why we've turned to influencer Chloe Joel, who regularly inspires her thousands of followers with gorgeous nail art and tips. If you want to fix your chipped polish, here's Chloe's advice on how to do your own nails at home...

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How to do a regular manicure at home 

Prep is key here, so give yourself plenty of time to really get it right. Here's a step-by-step guide:

1. Soak nails in warm water to soften the cuticles before pushing back

2. Shape nails using a nail file

3. Paint nails with a base coat, this improves longevity and provides a smooth base for colour, I recommend Peacci 2-1 base

4. Paint two to three coats of your preferred nail colour

5. Finish with a top coat

6. Once dry, apply cuticle oil to keep nails hydrated

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nail polish

Base coat, £12.80, The Gel Bottle

nails inc cuticle oil

Nails Inc Superfood Repair Oil, £15, Lookfantastic


How to remove old gel polish at home

Need to remove old gel nail polish? With no chance of making it to the salon, you'll need to do it yourself, and as Chloe says: "Do not pick your gels off, this can cause major damage to the nail bed."

 1. Using a nail file, buff away the top layer of gel

2. Split a cotton pad into four pieces and soak the cotton pads in pure acetone

3. Place the cotton pad onto each nail and individually wrap in foil

4. Check after 5 minutes if the gel has bubbled, if not leave for slightly longer

5. Working on one nail at a time, remove the foil and cotton pad and scrape off the gel using a cuticle pusher, you can also use a spoon

6. Once the majority of the gel is removed, gently buff over the nails with a foam buffer until smooth

7. Finish by applying cuticle oil

READ: How to give an at-home haircut

nails remover

Mylee gel polish remover, £7.99, Amazon

gel nail polish remover kit

Gel nail polish remover kit, £3.59, Amazon


Applying gel at home

"As a qualified nail technician with 9 years’ experience, I would highly advise not to use an at-home gel kit," says Chloe. "Many people can have allergic reactions due to uncured gel left on the skin. Please leave gels to the professionals."

And if you need any more tips? She suggests:

- Wear gloves when washing up or cleaning to avoid drying out your nails

- Use cuticle oil twice a day to keep your nails hydrated - alternatives include almond oil, olive oil or lavender oil

The best nail colours for winter

Winter is a great time to experiment with nail colours and patterns. Whether you do one colour, opt for a different one on each finger or even experiment with nail art, these will make you feel ready for the new season: 

opi burgundy

OPI 'We the Female' Nail Varnish, £9.38, Lookfantastic

red john lewis

Nailberry Cherry Cherie, £7.70, John Lewis

essie gold

Essie Gold Nail Polish, £7.99, Boots

dior polish

494 Junon, £22, Dior

green polish

Nailberry L'Oxygene Nail Lacquer Glamazon, £14.50, Lookfantastic

purple polish

OPI Purple Nail Polish, £13.90, Lookfantastic


Happy painting!

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