Friday, November 12, 2010

DIY Beauty: How To Paint Your Nails Like A Pro!

Painting my nails used to be a pain before I enlisted the help of one of my friends who happens to be an aesthetician. She gave me some amazing tips for nailing my lacquer application every time, and now I am going to pass them on to you! 

Start with clean dry nails:  You will get a better application if your nails are free of oil and dirt. Sweep each nail with a cotton ball dipped in polish remover to prep the nail for the next step [it removes all traces of oil]. 

Don't skip the base coat: The base coat acts as a primer, helping the color adhere better to your nail bed and stretch the life of your manicure. 

Apply the polish in this manner:
Start by applying a dollop of polish in the center of your nail bed underneath your cuticle.
With your polish brush, slowly push the polish up the nail until slightly underneath your cuticle. Without taking the brush off the nail, pull the polish back down towards the end of the nail. - Repeat this step on the right side of the nail, as well as the left.
Repeat the steps mentioned above for your second coat of polish!

Also remember:
Use thin coats: Using thin coats will help prevent bubbling and keep your lacquer application thin and uniform.

Wait 2-3 minutes before applying top coat:  Some top coats are formulated to dry a bit faster than regular nail lacquer. Top coats that dries faster than your polish could cause those little tiny bubbles. It is best that you wait about 2-3 minutes before applying your top coat to prevent those bubbles.

Top coat recommendation: I LOVE Essie's Top Coat, it gives me a glossy finish every time.

Shaky hands? Rest your hands on a sturdy surface to help take the pressure off of your wrists.

Use oil to help with clean up: Lightly apply cuticle oil to your cuticles and the skin around your finger prior to painting your nails. This makes for an easy, fuss free cleanup should you happen to make a few mistakes along the way [the polish will wipe clean because of the oil].

Spend a few extra bucks: Quality polishes like O.P.I & Essie work well without the excess bubbling and streaking.

Don't blow on your nails: Blowing on your nails could cause air bubbles, it is best to let them dry naturally.

Use 100% cotton balls: This prevents those pesky fibers that synthetic cotton balls tend to leave behind!

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  1. Great tips. umm how about a video? sounds really silly... but still...

  2. Great tips! My number one secret to a long-lasting manicure is to allow the nails to dry COMPLETELY! This can sometimes take up to half an hour, but makes all the difference in the world. To tell if nails are really dry, tap two of them together very lightly so as not to smudge. If there’s any stickiness AT ALL, they are not dry. I always see girls hop out of the salon after just 5-10 minutes under the nail dryer. Don’t do it. Your patience will be rewarded.


  3. I use the three stripe rule - one stripe down the middle, one at the left side and then the right. Let that coat dry and then repeat, even finish every time and safer than doing a dollop on the nail.

    There is no great difference between polishes. I don't know why people feel the need to spend OPI and Essie prices when a cheap polish will do the same job. It's the same with make up - bourgeois and Chanel are made with the same materials at the same factory, just different packaging.

    I tend to skip top and base coat but should really use the base to protect the nail polish from staining.

    The blue colour is lovely by the way.

  4. I was never big on painting my nails until I started buying Essie for my own stash instead of just relying on the nail salon. I love it! Even for someone like me, who never considered themselves "good" at polishing her own nails, by using quality polish I can achieve a salon look at home.

  5. Great information! Thanks so much.

  6. Thanks for these tips!

    Ladies!! I used to hate polishing my nails until I discovered the wonder that is Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. If you are in a rush but need pretty nails, try it out. Your polish will be rock-hard and SUPER shiny within 10 minutes of application. That thing is a life-saver. Also, try Nubar and Zoya polishes, too...they have an amazing array of colors and are so long-lasting. Zoya's Color-Lock system is a no-brainer. I <3 nail polish.

  7. Yes, anonymous 12:31 - Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat works wonders!

  8. Co-signing on Seche Vite - it's a life-(and TIME!)saver!!!

  9. video please? i don't get it.

  10. Great tips!! I will be trying them tonight LOL

    check out

  11. Seche Vite is my fave top coat but thank you for the tips :)

  12. I've been biting my nails all of my life and about 3 months ago I stop cold turkey. I have tried several times since my nails have grown to polish my nails and have yet to be satisfied with the results. Thanks for tips.

  13. How do you keep the polish from chipping? I would wear polished nails if I didn't chip so bad just days after application!!!

  14. thanks so much nicole for this tip- my local salon gives you the super side eye, lol... this tip has made me so happy

  15. Nikole, the detail and effort you put into your posts does not un-noticed! MUUUUUUUCH appreciated!

  16. I just painted my nails following your tips and it looks like I walked out of the salon. Thanks so much. Girl, what can't you do, lol? PS, for those of you who are asking for a video --really? Her instructions are straight forward and clear --can she get a little more appreciation and a little less entitlement.


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