Busy Mom At-Home Manicure

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-00Like most moms, I’m often too busy to find time to pamper myself. My weekends are too jam packed to fit in a professional manicure, and weeknights are full of caring for the kids and dinner prep.  If you’re a busy mom like me, you know that an at-home manicure is usually the only option.

My friends at CVS made it a lot easier to get the perfect at-home manicure by giving me a gift card to partake in their ‘fill your bag’ promotion (continue reading to find out how you can win your own $50 CVS gift card!).

I bought this awesome 6-piece mani/pedi kit, which can give me the perfect at-home manicure in a lot less time (and cost) than a professional manicure. You can give yourself a spa-quality at-home manicure in less than 20 minutes. Here are my 12 steps for a busy mom at-home manicure.

1. Remove Your Old Nail Polish


If you have any residual nail polish on your fingers, remove it before you begin your manicure.

2. Soak Nails in Warm Water

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-02In a small glass bowl, soak your nail tips in warm soapy water to moisten your cuticles and loosen any dirt that is under your nails. If you’re short on time, even a minute will do the trick.

3. Push Back Your Cuticles

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-03Once your cuticles are moistened, use the cuticle instrument to push back your cuticles

4. Trim You Cuticles and Nails

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-04If you have any hangnails or torn cuticles, use the cuticle trimmer to even out the cuticle. Use the nail clipper to create the desired length of the nails and remove dirt from under the nail beds.

5. Shape You Nails

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-05Use an emery board to shape your nails in the desired shape.

6. Exfoliate Your Hands

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-06Using a scrub, exfoliate your hands to eliminate dead skin cells and prepare your hands to best receive moisture. (I made this super simple scrub mixing equal parts pure coconut oil and granulated sugar—it works great and smells awesome!)

7. Moisturize Your Hands
busy-mom-at-home-manicure-07Using a moisturizing hand or body cream, massage the lotion into your hands, wrists and fingers. Give yourself a mini hand massage; you deserve it!

8. Prepare Nail Bed

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-08Once you exfoliate and moisturize, you need to remove any excess oil or scrub from the nail bed before you apply your nail polish. Take one more quick swipe over your nails with nail polish remover to get rid of any excess oil or scrub.

9. Apply A Base Coat

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-09If you’re like me, you might invest in a dual base and top coat formula. Apply one thin layer of base coat before moving onto the color.

10. Apply Two Color Coats

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-10Apply one thin coat of nail polish to each nail and then apply one more coat to each nail for a total of two coats. If you are unhappy with the color saturation, you could try for a third coat, but beware of clumpiness!

11. Apply A Top Coat

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-11Apply a thin layer of top coat to seal in the color and help keep your manicure fresh for up to a week.

12. Clean Up Mistakes

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-12If you made any mistakes, tear the majority of the cotton off of a q-tip and then dip the stick into the nail polish remover. Run the stick along the mistake to remove a small amount of nail polish at a time.


13. Allow Time For Your Nails To Dry

busy-mom-at-home-manicure-13Don’t undo all your hard work by not giving your nails sufficient time to dry. Give yourself at least five minutes to let your nails dry. Even better, up to 30 minutes to ensure they are completely dry. I try to avoid heavy activities after a do a manicure, so I usually do them right when I put my kids down for a nap or right when I put them to bed at night so I have ample time for the nails to dry.

Want to try your own home manicure? You can find all the nail supplies you need at your local CVS, and with their current ‘fill your bag promotion’ (now through August 8th!), you can save 30% off in-store and online on over 3,000 CVS exclusive products including: CVS brand, Gold Emblem, Beauty 360, Total home and Caliber products.  Find out all the details here.

For your own chance to win a $50 gift card from CVS, leave a comment below (or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) telling me, what is your favorite way to pamper yourself?


*Entries must be received by 11:59pm on Sunday, July 26th. Winner will be selected at random from all valid entries. Winner will be contacted via mode of entry (ie. via email or social media).


  1. I love getting a mani and you make it seem so easy! I’m not good at applying the polish. My favorite way to indulge is to watch a movie, at home, by myself. That way I can cry unashamedly. 🙂

    1. 🙂 Haha! Terri, your comment made me laugh—I love watching girly movies alone when I can get the house to myself;)!

  2. Jessica from SimplyHealthyHome says:

    I totally love to take a good bath with essential oils and a book! My favorite way to end the day.

  3. Jacquelyn Lippert says:

    I love to pamper myself with a nice bubble bath, glass of wine, and a good book or movie! But, I do love doing my nails too. XOXO

  4. Your manicure looks absolutely flawless, great job! I love to pamper myself by either doing a DIY manicure at home too, or taking a nice bubble bath while reading a book with a candle…ahhh. I’m relaxed just thinking about it! 🙂

  5. A great pedicure is the way to pamper myself.

  6. A massage is my favorite way to be pampered. I don’t do it as often as I should, but it’s my favorite

  7. Hot bubble bath on the cheap side, or a massage when I’m splurging!

    1. Karen, congratulations! You are our (randomly selected) CVS gift card winner. Will you please send me an email at [email protected] so I can connect you with our CVS partner?

  8. Hmm… I think I would have to say doing my nails. It makes me feel more girly and it’s relaxing to me!

  9. Ashley Bree Perez says:

    My favorite way to pamper myself is to go get my hair done and relax in a nice hot bath while using a nice bath bomb and then use a facial mask to treat my skin after. 🙂 Would love to win a CVS gift card. Thank you so much for the opportunity and good luck to everyone who enters. 🙂

  10. Awesome tutorial and photos! I take a bath every day, and that’s how I relax and escape my children. LOL

  11. Cynthia Kyle says:

    I have an absolute must keeping my nails nice. If one breaks, i cut them all to the same length. If I have a chip in the polish, I fix it with a dot of the same color until i can fix it better. I was blessed with good nails that grow strong so that is a plus. Some people think I’m obsessed and that is ok. We all have something that we appreciate about ourselves and take an extra moment to present it. Some it’s their hair, mine happen to be my nails

  12. I’m so with you girl! I just feel so much more put together with a nice manicure. One of my nails broke today so I cut them all the same length! Lol.

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