Right next to coffee and Taylor Swift’s new album, getting pampered at our weekly nail appointment really makes our world go ’round. But what’s a girl to do when she’s short on time or low on funds? After doing our research, we’ve realized getting an Instagram-worthy manicure is as easy as 1, 2… 10. That’s right, here are 10 tips and tricks to getting the perfect mani at home. Who said cheap can’t also be chic?

1. File Your Nails: See-sawing back and forth can actually be doing more harm than good to your nails. Instead, file from the outer edges toward the center in one direction. Also, skip the cheap sandpaper-like tool and opt for crystal nail file ($10) instead. It’s worth the few extra dollars. Trust us. (via Nouvelle Daily)

2. Clean Up: Use a thin paintbrush or even a dried up liquid eyeliner brush to clean up a messy polish job. Cotton balls can leave smudges that are tough to remove. Don’t forget to use a chemical-free nail polish remover ($6). (via Fashion Central)

3. Polka Dots: Craving spotty nails? Simple dip a bobby pin into your color of choice and dot away. (via Ink + Adventure)

4. Apply a Base Coat and a Top Coat: Everyone knows that to seal your polish in place and prevent chipping you need to apply a layer of clear top coat. We suggest RGB’s chemical-free luxe top coat ($18). But what most people skip (we’re guilty too, guys) is using a base coat BEFORE applying your polish. Oh, and reapply your top coat every few days to keep your mani fresh until your next nail day.

5. Get Design Savvy: Don’t be afraid to try out your art skills with fun designs. We love this cross-cross nail and it’s super easy to do, especially with this handy I Heart Nail Art pen ($6). Carefully paint lines across a metallic nail with one of these bright colors. (via Who What Wear)

6. Fishnet Design: Use a loofah or other net material for a cool design effect. Simply paint over the net and you’re good to go. (via Nails by Natalia)

7. Put a Heart on It: Dip a toothpick in your favorite polish to create a mini heart design. This super simple and sweet design will be the envy of all your friends. (via The Thread)

8. Avoid Fans: We know, you see fans in nail salons all the time, but they’re responsible for those post-mani bubbles. We suggest letting your nails naturally air dry. (via Beauty Bulletin)

9. Dry Your Nails, Quick: Don’t have time to air dry? Dunk them ice cold water for three minutes. It works like a charm, every time. (via Delia Creates)

10. Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream ($6): Don’t forget about your cuticles! Give your digits some much-needed TLC with this all-natural, vitamin E and almond oil cream.

Are you ready to get your at-home mani on? Invite your girls over and send us snaps of your pretty digits in the comments below!