The internet makes us think that anyone can do those perfectly crisp and absurdly awesome DIY manicures we see on beauty blogs and Pinterest, doesn’t it? Well the truth is—as many of us well know—we can’t. Often our attempts turn into sticky messes where there’s more polish on our surrounding skin (and probs clothing) than on our actual nails. It’s the truth…humph.  But, there are a few ways to get around these adversities and give yourself that Instagram-worthy mani we’re all hoping for. Check out this list of 15 tips that certainly are worth trying out on your next DIY excursion!

1. First things first. Ice water. 

We often mess up a rather pristine mani job by trying to use our hands before the polish is dry. So annoying. To remedy this, dip your nails in ice water when you’re finished painting and dry time will decrease by half!

2. You keep your nails short and are a little bit of a klutz? 

Use a magazine subscription card (or any piece of card stock of about that width) and cut half circles into the side that will fit your nail. Then insert your nail so the card is just beneath the surrounding edge of your nail. This way you can paint those surfaces without any mess!

3. This might sound quite strange, but…

Set your nails with oil spray once you’ve completed the polishing process. Honestly, it works.

4. This is perfect for us messy manicurists.

5. Looking for a lovely, smooth glitter mani? 

Better smooth out those bumps…

6. So your nails are stained after removing dark polish and want to re-manicure?

You can whiten your nails using a solution of hot water, peroxide, and baking soda. Soak for about a minute and you’re good to go! You can also try whitening toothpaste.

7. Using a lighter color and you want to avoid streaks? 

Get the perfect application with these properly ordered three strokes!

8. Looking to get the perfect French tip but don’t want to pay salon prices?

We understand. Use a bandaid!

9. It doesn’t have to be tough to get that naturally manicured look. 

Try simply buffing and shining!

10. Smudgey-smudges? 

11. Easy at-home acrylic manicure in 4 steps? 

12. Lastly, no matter what type of manicure you’re going for at home, the key tip/trick is…

Never sit by a fan or do your nails outside. The airflow effects the drying process, changes the intervals and makes for sticky, gooey nail polish. A no-no.

via diply