With today's economy, nail polish sales are up because it's an easy expense to cut off your beauty regimen. Going to get your nails done weekly can be costly but you can easily get a professional look all on your own.
First PREP your nails. Smooth nails with a buffer. Then rub a bit of olive oil over your cuticles to soften them and gently push them back with one of those wood cuticle pushers. No, you don't have to have 'cuticle oil'. Olive oil works perfect. Swipe away residue with polish remover. Next put on a base coat. This is an important step! Without your base coat you can and will get streaks in the nail polish. The base coat creates a smooth surface for color to stick to.
Second step is to apply two coats of polish with light-handed strokes. The tip is to hold the brush midcap, not at the top....this way you have more control over the brush stroke. Finish with a topcoat.
Third step is have PATIENCE! Let your nails dry on their own. Blowing on your nails creates bubbles and don't use fast drying oils and sprays. They make your polish prone to peeling.
If you do goof up your polish, just dot polish on the nicked spot, let dry and sweep topcoat over the entire nail. Good job you just gave yourself a manicure and saved a few bucks!