DIY Perfect Manicure - How to Paint Your Nails Like a 'Seventeen' Editor

(Images reprinted with permission from Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty © 2012 by Ann Shoket and the editors of Seventeen, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.)

Trying to master the art of a perfect manicure is like asking a kindergartener to paint the Mona Lisa—nine times out of 10 there's color everywhere and the end result looks more like a big ol' mess than a masterpiece.

Now that nail art is everywhere, this poses a major issue for those of us not ambidextrously blessed.

Lucky for us, the editors of Seventeen magazine are willing to lend a helping hand. The glossy's new beauty bible Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty ($19.95) hit stores this month and offers heaps of the best hair, skin, makeup—and you guessed it—nail how-to advice and inspiration.

(Courtesy of Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty)

Check out this simple three-step process from the book (which we're obsessed with by the way) on how to get the perfect at-home manicure:

1) Shape: Run a fine-grit emery board across your nails in a back-and-forth motion. When they're evened out, round the edges a bit to keep them from snagging.

2) Prep: Soak your nails in soapy water for five minutes to soften the cuticles, then gently nudge them back with an orange stick. Don't have a cuticle pusher? Use a towel or washcloth. Once cuticles are neat, apply hand lotion, then wipe off your nail beds.

3) Polish: Apply a base coat to protect nails from stains, then do two thin coats of nail lacquer. Finish with a clear top coat and let it dry fully. Reapply your top coat every other day for a mani that lasts.

(Courtesy of Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty)

Will you be giving this method a go? If so, tweet us photos @StyleBistro and we'll re-tweet for all to see! Plus, we'd totally love to know your own personal secrets to getting flawless fingers. Share your advice in the comments below!