How to give yourself an Immaculate Manicure

DIY mega gloss

Going to the salon every week is pretty time-consuming, but there are useful and creative ways to achieving the perfect manicure at home. Glenis Baptiste, manicurist to Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson tells us the hottest, newest tips.

1. Use your facial exfoliator.Getting the base glossy and smooth is the most important step as most of us suffer with a ridged nail base. Taking a pea-sized amount of a grainy facial exfoliator, rub it into your nail bed, then taking a soft nail buffer like OPI Shiner File, polish for about a minute. Massage in cuticle oil (CND SolarOil Cuticle Oil is the best) and that will give you the best nail base to start with.

2. Find the perfect top coat.Look for one that dries really quickly, leaving a high-shine finish. Dior Vernis Gel Top Coat is like a gel polish and gives a gel-like finish.

3. Make your cuticle areas dewy-looking, not dry.Massaging in cuticle oil loosens up the cuticles making the nail bed look soft and healthy. Make sure you ‘squeak’ the nail bed by removing any oil residue with a polish remover or it will cause the polish to lift and chip. You know the nail is clean when the remover evaporates off the nail.

4. Use a plastic cuticle stick.Plastic sticks are lightweight and you have more control. Metal ones are too heavy and could damage the nail and wooden sticks can splinter. Use one with a rubber end.

5. Apply a thin first coat.The trick is doing this in two coats - a thin coat followed by a thicker application. If you keep applying and reapplying the nails will lift and chip. Waiting for each coat to dry before applying the next is a myth. Apply away.

6. Be gentle when applying the top coat.Pick up a good amount of clear polish onto the brush and glide the brush over the nail colour. This is how to get that glass-like finish.

7. Drop cuticle oil onto the colour.This will protect the polish when it’s drying. If it smudges you can move it around a bit so you’re not digging into the polish. FYI it makes no difference blowing or dipping nails into cold water if you want it to dry faster.

8. Make short nails look longer.If you have really short nails leave a line around on the sides of the cuticle walls. This creates length. Painting wall-to-wall will make them look wide and short.

Autumn nail shades you can wear right now


Nudes aren’t new, but this season they’ve had an update. “Brown has been added to the colour palette for the first time in decades,” says Baptiste. “The shades range from creamy cappuccino to near-black espresso. They scream sophistication.” Luckily, loads of brands have come out with brown hues with a shiny finish.

How to wear it: “These coffee shades wear beautifully on short, square nails to keep you looking sharp,” explains Baptiste.

SHOW LOVES:Dior Vernis Couture Colour Gel Shine Nail Lacquer in Obscure


“It’s deep, moody and modern – the perfect shade for anyone who wants to try black but finds it a bit intimidating,” says Baptiste.

How to wear it: “I recommend wearing this power colour on longer nails with a ‘squoval' shape. These nails will mean business in the boardroom!”

SHOW LOVES:OPI Nail Varnish in Liv in the Gray


Forget sheer shades and girlie pinks – this season is all about the sexy, vibrant scarlet - a new take on an old classic. “It should be totally opaque, super shiny and veering on the side of orange in tone. It’s a universally complementary shade for most skin tones.”

How to wear it: “This shade of red will look great no matter what the nail length but it can feel sexy if they are perfectly manicured and long to lengthen the fingers. If you’re not naturally gifted in the nail department acrylics are essential to this look,” says Baptiste.

SHOW LOVES:NARS Nail Polish in Dovima


Black nail polish will always be a beauty buzz, from punk to pristine. “Chipped black nails are pretty passé now, choose a formula somewhere between a polish and a gel, one that goes on like traditional polish but lasts much longer and has a high shine finish,” says Baptiste.

How to wear it: “Keep nails short - any longer will be veering into goth territory. A nice oval shape will look expensive.”

SHOW LOVES:Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Black Satin



Glenis Baptiste - Celebrity Manicurist

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