One of the best accessories a woman can have are freshly-manicured nails. If you can’t make it to the salon every other week, why not take a few minutes out of your jam-packed schedule to do your own nails. There are salon-style step-by-step tutorials out there, but we understand that sometimes you just don’t have hours to spend on your manicure, so we present you the 12 tips and tricks we find most important to attaining perfectly polished results that last up to a week.
1. Keep Nail Polish Cold So It’s Easier To Use
While you take some time out to prep your hands, place your nail polish bottle in the fridge for 15 minutes to get it cold. Cold nail polish keeps nail polish smooth, which makes it easier to apply.
2. File Your Nails in One Direction
It doesn’t matter which direction, but make sure you’re filing each nail either to the left or to the right, never back and forth. Alternating directions weakens the nail, making it more prone to breakage and peeling.
3. Soak Nails in Water Vinegar Solution
Mix a solution of water and white vinegar before applying nail polish or you could also just wipe your nails using a paper towel dampened with vinegar. Vinegar will strip the nails of any oils or moisturizers left over from polish remover in order to prevent bubbles. It helps the polish adhere better, therefore prolonging your manicure.
4. Line Your Nails With Vaseline Pre-Painting
This will make for way easier cleanup when done. The Vaseline creates a barrier between your nail and your skin, so you can wipe off the Vaseline and take any mistakes with it!
5. Print Out This Nail Polish Application Diagram
Note: Don’t Skip the Base Coat
No base coat means your nails will get stained from the polish, and your manicure won’t last as long because it doesn’t have a solid base to cling to.
6. Apply Multiple Thin Coats Instead of One Thick Coat
We know it can be tempting to pack on the polish, but too-thick nail polish can tend to peel off, making the life of your manicure incredibly shorter. Go for thinner strokes, getting just enough polish on the brush that you don’t overload your nails. When your coats are too thick, they take longer to dry and make them prone to smudging. Also, wait a minute or two before applying your next layer.
Optional Extra Step to Prevent Chipping
Paint two base coats – one on the top half portion of the nail only, and the second coat over the whole nail. This helps protect the polish on the tip of your nail to last longer. While you are base coating, consider using a white polish as your base – it’ll help that colour pop!
Bonus If You Have Extra Time
Make easy polka dots or thing strokes by dipping the tip of a bobby pin, a mechanical pencil, or stick a pin in a pencil eraser.
7. Erase Mistakes by Dipping a Tiny Brush into Nail Polish Remover
Use an old paintbrush or an eyeliner brush that you don’t care for anymore. The bristles are tight and compact so they won’t flare out as you clean around the cuticles, giving you a nice, clean edge
8. If You’re Out of Quick Dry Top Coat…
Spray your nails with cooking oil spray. It’ll help to set that color and prevent smudges! Just spray, let dry for a minute and then wipe off.
9. Even Quicker Drying With Ice Water
Use ice water to dry your nails in three minutes. Let them air dry for a couple minutes then dunk away.
10. Dry Nail Test
A good way to tell if your nails are dry is to make your pinky nails face each other, then gently touch them together. If you pull them apart and they feel slightly tacky, your nails still need time to try. If they don’t stick to each other at all, you’re good to get moving.
11. Fix a Smudge By Licking It
You may be surprised by this suggestion, but you can fix a smudge by slightly licking it. This will actually smooth out the smudge. Don’t believe us? Try it, and get back to us!
12. Protect Nails With Rubber Gloves
When washing dishes, always reach for the rubber gloves. Getting your nails wet and exposing them to washing up liquid and cleaning products is the quickest way for your lovely manicure to get damaged, and to dry out cuticles.
Note: Stay Away From Hand Sanitizer
The alcohol in hand sanitizer can dry out your nails and polish, making them dull and ready to chip. Instead, go for a mild hand soap and warm water when possible.
Have any manicure tricks we should know about? Let us know in the comments below!