Manime! My new fave at-home beauty tool + how to get the most out of them

I think we’ve all learned a lot during Covid, and turns out, I’m a nail gal (truly, the insights just keep coming).

I didn’t realize how deeply ingrained my bi-weekly nail appointments were until I was stuck at home with raggedy nails and no real way to fix them.

Not that I didn’t try! I, no joke, bought and attempted:

  • at-home dipping, which always ended up about an inch thick and all over my entire fingers like they’d been attacked by my 2nd grader
  • “one-size-fits-all” gel stickers that never seemed to have the right size for half my nails, leaving me to try and cut them down to fit, which again looked like the kids used my nails as a craft project
  • regular ole nail polish (I bought the Olive + June set – so cute!), which was by far the best of the bunch, but took a lot of work and I couldn’t get to last past 3 days
  • an at-home gel kit that came complete with a mini curing light that was the worst of the bunch and came off almost immediately

I basically resigned myself to living with sad nails (life was hard during Covid, kids!) and hiding them whenever I had to shoot photos or talk on camera. And, then the wonder that is Instagram ads felt my pain and delivered my savior.

MANIME, BABY.

Omg, I will NEVER shut up about how much I love Manime and their easy-to-use, sticker nails. THEY ARE SO GOOD!

Here’s the difference with Manime:

They last. Like for TEN DAYS. Then they start tearing a bit and you have to pick them off, but isn’t that the same with nail salon gels?

And they are so easy to put on. Because they’re sized just to your nails, they’re fast and easy (once you get the sizing right – see below) and take minimal skill to put on (I know because I have minimal skills – see above).

And you know all those cute designs that people on the Internet have? You can have them too! I’m a pretty traditional, red nail gal, but, even I have ventured into pastel stripes and little rainbows because WHO CAN RESIST?

Now, before you rush off and buy a bunch of sets, I have some learned lessons I’d like to pass along to make the experience seamless. GAH, I am such a giver!

What to Know Before You Buy Manimes:

1. ONLY BUY ONE SET YOUR FIRST TIME.

Yes, those are caps because it’s that important.

It takes a few tries to get your fit exactly right so I’d recommend buying one set and then tweaking it until you get it perfect. (They will send you redos for free until you get it just right.)

I didn’t do this and have a few sets that are fine, but kind of annoying to use, now that I have my perfect fit.

2. I’d say skip the base coat, but go for the top coat (it’s usually free with your order).

I find when I use the base coat, they don’t last nearly as long, while the top coat doesn’t seem to affect it that much (it just gives it a nice shine).

3. All their sets come with an emory board – use it rather than your own!

When I first started using Manime, I felt like their emory board was taking way too long for me (I’ve got places to go, peeps! Like the couch! And the freezer! And the bathroom to read US Weekly and hide from my kids!).

I was pretty sure I could improve the whole process with my heavier duty one. The result? It tore the gels and gave them weird, ragged edges. Turns out the folks at Manime actually knew better than me, after all (first time for everything, MWAHAHA!).

4. Speaking of the filing process, just follow the directions, and file in a downward direction.

It takes a bit longer, but it gives you a nice, clean edge. Again, they seem to know what they’re talking about.

5. If you have short nails, I’d recommend putting them on and THEN shaping your nails.

You lose a bit of length with the filing process so if you have really short nails like me and file first, you’ll be stuck with barely-there nails.

6. I’ve noticed that some days I’ll have one errant nail whose edge keeps popping up.

If I can use my self-control and not pick at it, it will (weirdly) glue itself back down. If I can’t and succumb to the voices in my head, no worries, Manime sends extras.

7. If you can only do one type, do the manis over the pedis.

While I like the pedicure stickers, they are a lot harder to fit correctly and it seems like it’s easier to paint your toenails than your fingernails (or maybe they’re farther away so I can’t see how bad they look?).

Having said that, they have so many fun designs I would never be able to replicate, I’m realistically doing both.

There you have it! My best tips for my new favorite product.

What other questions do you have for me? I can’t say I’ll never go back to the salon – I love the whole experience way too much – but it’s so nice to have a reasonably priced option I can do at home that makes me feel like myself.

Want to give Manime a try? Click here and use the code KARA20 for 20% off your first order! WOO HOO!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get a small amount if you buy through my link. Pinkie swear, I only promote products I’d berate you into buying if I met you in real life.

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