Natural Nails

Doing Your Own Nails

Breaking down the frustrating process of doing your own nails.

Many experienced techs do their own nails and show them with pride. While it may seem like an impossible task at first, there are ways to break down the process to help get you through the frustrating first attempts. There are many benefits to doing your own nails. Using your weak hand for skilled tasks exercises your brain and keeps it healthy by challenging it to learn something new. And as a nail tech, a great set of self applied nails is a perfect way to advertise your superior skills. Here is a collection of pointers.


When you’re just starting, the easiest way is to hold the efile, file, and brush motionless in your opposite hand and let your dominant hand do most of the work. As you practice more, you’ll be able to maneuver your opposite hand more and more, which makes the sets faster and faster each time. To help with this, I started using my opposite hand when eating so I get better with the weaker hand.

— Tammy Warner, educator for Akzentz and founder of The High Road to Education


When filing the shape, look at all the angles of the nail — from the front to the C-curve. And to really make sure they are even across the top (when wearing them square) look at them with your palm facing you and drag the file toward you to give that nice square look. Shaping can be your biggest challenge when doing your own nails.

— Somer Downes, director of education at LCN


For a French, white tips are a life saver. Perfect smile lines are hard enough with your dominant hand, why go through the nightmare of trying to do it with the weaker one?

 — MaeLing Parrish, educator for EZ Flow


Color fades and glitter blends are a great way to get started. They’re a little more forgiving than pink-and-whites.

— Elaine Watson, global education director for Star Nail International


 Give yourself some time. If you try to do your own nails while at work, block out some time so you aren’t answering phones or serving clients. The interruptions will frustrate you and make it take longer. If you don’t have a lot of time, do one hand at a time.

— Lynn Ackerson-Warren, educator and guest artist for OPI

Facebook Comments ()

Leave a Comment


Comments (1)


A co-polymer (of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene monomers) from which most artificial nail tips are made.
Learn More

Featured Products & Promotions   |   Advertisement

Market Research

Market Research How big is the U.S. nail business? $7.3 billion. What's the average service price for a manicure? Dig into our decades' deep research archives.

Industry Statistics for

View All


FREE Subscription

VietSalon is a Vietnamese-language magazine and the sister publication to NAILS. Click the link below to sign up for a FREE one-year subscription.

Get a free preview issue and a Free Gift
Subscribe Today!

Please sign in or register to .    Close
Subscribe Today
Subscribe Today