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Welcome to Mani 101. We're teaching you all the steps to get a salon-perfect manicure at home. All you'll need is The Mani System.

MANI 101

The 5 basic steps are:

  1. Shape
  2. Prep
  3. Poppy + Polish
  4. Top Coat
  5. Cuticle Serum

Before you get started, our manicures are all 100% waterless - avoid washing your hands right before painting your nails and don’t soak your hands in water, etc. Water causes chipping, and no one wants that!


Our shaping <hyperlink> philosophy is the 90/10 rule. Use your clippers to achieve 90% of your desired length and shape, and use the file for last 10% —just smoothing the details. Smooth out the edges with your nail file for the last 10%. We always recommend filing your nails in one direction. This helps avoid shredding or peeling at the tip, and it helps you slow down.

TIP: We always like to shape with our old polish on. It helps us see the final shape. The whites of our nails can often be uneven and misleading, so this trick always helps us get a more perfect shape.


Gently push back cuticles with your thumbnail and use your buffer to smooth them away. A super light, gentle buff is all you need. Don't overbuff, so as not to unnecessarily thin out your nails.

TIP: Unless you’re a licensed professional, we don’t recommend cutting your cuticles. You can hurt yourself and even cause an infection. We recommend only clipping any skin that is hanging with your nail clipper.

Finish with a dip in the Remover Pot to prep nails for polish. After this dip, remember to not touch anything and don't wash your hands. Introducing any water or oil will make your beautiful polish chip.


Pop on Poppy <hyperlink> for a super steady paint job. Line up the flat side of Poppy with the flat side of your brush. Apply 2-3 thin coats of your favorite polish. Remember to wait at least 5-10 minutes between each coat to let it dry. Each coat should be nice and thin— don't worry if your first coat is streaky! It's always better to do 2-3 thin coats than too few thick ones.

Clean up any mistakes and perfect your polish lines with the Clean Up Brush. Dip the brush gently in the Remover Pot and swipe away any mistakes.


Apply a thin coat of Super Glossy Top Coat to add shine and protect your mani.

Tip: We recommend you reapply Top Coat every 2-3 days to keep your mani looking fresh and shiny. It will also help keep your mani from chipping.


Once polish is completely dry, apply 2-3 clicks of Cuticle Serum to hydrate. We like to apply Cuticle Serum 2-3x a day to keep everything happy and hydrated. For extra hydration credit, apply Hand Serum at least once daily.

Ready to learn more?

We've put together some additional articles to help you on your nail journey.