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Let Julia Diogo Guide Your Next DIY Manicure

The London-based manicurist shares the secret to a shiny, perfect at-home manicure. 

The key to a perfect, glossy at-home manicure? According to London-based luxury manicurist Julia Diogo, regular nail and hand care is a must, as is her pro top coat technique. The actual paint job is only one element; what you do before and after your manicure is what makes all the difference in keeping your manicure looking its best. Keep reading for Diogo's top hand care tips, plus her secrets for getting the perfect, glossy manicure at home.

2. Tend to your cuticles

Speaking of cuticles, Diogo says the secret to a great-looking, at-home manicure starts with good cuticle care. If trimming your cuticles feels too intimidating, she suggests simply pushing them back after a shower while they're still soft or using a cuticle remover. "That's going to help to lift any of the non-living tissue," Diogo says of cuticle remover, which are typically pretty inexpensive and available where beauty products are sold.

3. Shape the nails

A good nail shape is also key. Diogo recommends a squoval shape with rounded edges and a flat top as this nail shape is universally flattering and the easiest to DIY. The trick to shaping your nails, she says, is to file a little bit at a time to avoid overdoing it, and to look at your nails from all different angles as you do it.

Photographed by Julia Diogo

5. Adjust edges

Unless you're a professional nail artist, chances are your nail polishing painting skills will likely color outside the lines a bit. If that happens, Diogo recommends simply taking a small nail brush with some nail polish remover and brushing around the nail's edges to clean it up.

6. Maintain Moisture

Once you've finished your glossy manicure, keeping your hands and nails hydrated is essential for preventing nail breakage, extending the manicure's longevity, and keeping your nails looking fresh. For this, Diogo advises moisturizing your hands and nails with a rich cream and applying cuticle oil daily. Her go-tos include Walidah Skin Food and La Mer’s Renewal Oil used on the cuticles.

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