Andreas Kuehn
Getty Images

You've picked out an outfit and made party plans, but what about that nail appointment you forget to make?! Fret not: an at home manicure is the perfect last minute solution. Consult our shopping guide and easy polishing tips below! 

Nikki Brown
Dec, 29, 2016

1. Manicure Kit: Don't even think about cutting and buffing your nails without a tool kit. Look for one that includes all of the basic essentials, including a file, clippers, cuticle remover and tweezers for those ingrown pieces you can't quite reach.

available at Amazon | $10 SHOP NOW

And if it's travel-sized, you're set for any nail emergency in the New Year. 

2. Nail Polish Remover: Once you're fully stocked with tools, make sure that your nails are naked. If they aren't, use an acetone-free polish remover that doesn't utilize super harsh ingredients to dissolve color.

available at Nordstrom | $14 SHOP NOW

However, keep in mind that using this healthier option means you'll have to add extra pressure when removing highly pigmented shades or multiple coats. 

3. Base Coat: Your nails are cut and cleaned--what's next? The fun part, of course! After you've exfoliated and moisturized your hands, start by applying a clear base coat.

available at Jet | $5 SHOP NOW

We tend to forget this important step, but it's what will keep your nail beds from chipping and discoloration. Wait about 3-5 minutes for the coat to completely dry.  

4. Color, Color, Color!: Go bold with your color choice; it's New Year's Eve after all! No matter the shade, remember to apply two coats, with a one minute wait time in between each.

available at Net-A-Porter | $16 SHOP NOW

Also, don't forget to cap off each nail, i.e. paint across the top of each nail, to ensure that the color stays on longer.

If you paint outside the lines, dip a cotton swab in polish remover and swipe away any mistakes once the color has completely dried. 

available at Net-A-Porter | $16 SHOP NOW

5. Top Coat: Sealing your color with a top coat ensures the longevity of what you've just painted and adds an extra something. If you're not into the traditional glossy finish, there are plenty of matte options, too. 

available at Ulta | $10 SHOP NOW

6. Detail Tools: If you're a bit more skilled and want to add a cool design to your basic manicure, mani/pedi sticks are essential.

available at Amazon | $2 SHOP NOW

Unlike the standard polish applicator, a sturdier and smaller point makes it easier to draw lines and shapes. 

available at Amazon | $3 SHOP NOW

If you're looking for a quick makeup look to match your mani, watch our latest how-to below: 

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