Getting a professional manicure is always a treat. We lead busy lives and those 20 minutes in a salon chair are a welcome rest from our hectic schedules. And we cannot overlook the fact that we leave the salon with glossy talons.

Another enjoyable experience is doing your nails at home. Who doesn’t love a lazy weekend at-home spa day with wine, Netflix and mini beauty pampering sessions?

The next time you decide to treat yo’self at home, try taking your DIY manicure to the next level with some easy hacks that will give you a professional finish without a trip to the salon.

(Related: Golden Freckles Are The Most Dazzling Festival Beauty Trend Of 2017)

These easy things will help give your DIY mani a professional result:

1. Using a base coat and top coat.

If you’re going to be applying a few coats of nail polish, make the extra effort and apply the base coat and top coat. They will help your nail polish adhere better and allow it to go on smoother. Yes, it will take longer to dry, but it is definitely worth it in the long run.

2. Filing your nails.

Filing your nails can totally transform your manicure. It doesn’t matter the shape of your nails. You can file them in a round shape, a square one or even stiletto nails. Whatever shape you fancy, note that the goal is to have all your nails be a uniform shape and size.

3. Showing your cuticles some attention.

The cuticles are often ignored but they shouldn’t be. There’s no need to remove them. Instead, they just need some maintenance. You can try soaking your hands then very gently pushing the cuticles back with a clean cuticle tool like an orange stick. And make sure you’re applying a cuticle oil at the end of your manicure to keep the skin around your nails soft and supple. It also helps prevent pesky hang nails.

4. Applying an even layer of nail polish.

It’s tempting to apply a thick layer of nail polish to avoid having to apply multiple coats but that can backfire when it leads to bubbling or color that migrates onto your cuticles. Therefore, it’s better to apply thinner coats and give them a bit of time to dry between each application.

5. Ensuring that your nails have ample time to dry.

Nothing ruins a mani like smudged nails. Same goes for those annoying ridges you can get on your nails when you think they’re dry then you start doing things with your hands. Therefore, ensure that your nails are completely dry before you pick up your phone, start making cupcakes or doing whatever. Nails can take up to 40 minutes to dry so power up the Netflix, sit back and relax. You can even speed up the process by putting a fan on your nails.

6. Doing a final touch up around your nails with nail polish remover.

Even if you have a steady hand, it is always worth a bit of extra effort to quickly go around your nails with a brush or a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover. This will pick up any stray bits of nail polish and ensure that your hands look flawless.

7. Reapplying your top coat every few days.

To keep your nails looking their best, it is a good idea to reapply your top coat every couple of days. This will keep your nails look extra shiny and it will also help the color stay in place for longer.