Nail It! At-Home Advice from a Pro Manicurist

Is top coat worth the time? Do you even need a basecoat? How much wait time? Keep reading to find out how to perfect your next DIY mani.


Leanne Colley is a nail god, a bona fide manicure deity. A veteran and OG in the nail game, she is regarded as one of the top manicurists in Canada’s fashion industry. In addition to being the founder of Tips Nail Bar, the hottest nail spot in Toronto, she has worked with countless celebrities like Olivia Wilde, Christina Aguilera, and Katy Perry. Her work has also appeared in the pages of Elle Canada, Flare, Fashion Magazine and many more along with on the runway for brands like Pink Tartan and Lucian Matis.

One of my fondest memories about my time working at Page One Management, Leeanne’s agency, was the unique opportunity I had to be surrounded by such amazing talents and leaders in their respective industries. The amount of awesomeness that oozed out of these artists regularly taught me so much.

One lesson I learned that still sticks with me today was how to do a flawless at-home manicure. In the midst of casual conversation the topic switched to manicures and Leeanne revealed the perfect procedure.

Two coats of a basecoat. Two coats of color. Two coats of topcoat. And that’s it. But what about wait times in between coats? Not necessary! According to Leeanne’s advice, simply start with bare, clean nails and begin by applying your first coat evenly to all ten nails. By the time you’ve completed painting the last nail, the first one you started with should be ready enough for its next coat and you should proceed as such.

She bestowed that precious advice upon me and the others present about two years ago and I’ve used it religiously ever since. I used to be flippant about basecoats before but now I use one every time. I used to wait between applying my coats and it would take me forever to do my nails. Now I start doing my nails and in less than an hour I can be up and on to my next task. If you’re using good quality lacquers your paint job should last you about a week or so. It was simple, solid advice that I’ve tested myself and am now passing on to you. Give it a try. I’m sure you’ll nail it. Pun intended.


For more info on Leeanne Colley and P1M, please visit their sites by clicking on the respective links here and here. Tips Nail Bar is located at 848 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON. For more info, please visit their site by clicking here.

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