Once you know how to paint your nails the right way you’ll probably want to do it more often!
- nail polish
- clear top coat
- fingernail clippers
- cuticle trimmers/stick
- a file
- cotton swabs/rounds
- nail polish remover
There are tons of nail polish brands to choose from and some downright stink! But don’t let that freak you out! Go to the dollar store, Target, Wal-mart or even Amazon.com and pick up some Covergirl, Essie, Milani, Opi or Sally Hanson. Those are the brands I use most often.
Step 1: What you’ll need:
Step 2: Tips for painting your nails
- eat a snack
- use the restroom
- if you have long hair, tie it back
- make sure you have a nice beverage nearby
- find something to entertain you that won’t require you to touch things
If you don’t have these items at hand you’ll almost certainly mess up your nails by trying to accomplish these things.
It’s best to paint your nails on a well lit, clean and flat surface. Don’t risk it by painting on a wobbly surface!
First, push back or trim any excess cuticle. If you do this right after a shower it works best! You could also soak your hands in a little warm water to ease this process.
Then trim and file your nails. Make sure your nails are completely dry before filing them or you could end up making a mess of yourself.
Finally, go over your nails with a little nail polish remover – this will clean and prep them for painting.
Step 4: The first coat
DO NOT take the polish all the way to your cuticles or the skin at the sides of your nails.
Leave the tiniest amount of space around the bottom and sides of your nail unpolished. They will look nicer, chip less, and require hardly any cleanup at the end. You can see in the photo above that the polish is very thin and ends before it hits any of the skin surrounding the nail.
Step 5: How to check to see if your nail polish is dry
Instead, try this trick:
Touch your polished nails together – if they stick to each other at all, they are not dry yet. If they don’t feel tacky at all, they’re dry and ready for another coat!
Just be sure to do this with a light hand – pressing too hard can smudge them, too!
Step 6: Additional coats
You can see above the difference one coat of polish makes. Hence the encouragement to do thin, even coats instead of gloopy ones!
Make sure that your additional coats are thin, that the polish does not touch the skin, and that you give them enough time to dry before adding more polish.
Painting over polish that’s not entirely dry can lead to smudges, bumps, and dents later on!
Step 7: The top coat
When you add a top coat it will last closer to 5 days!
You’ll only need one coat of top coat. Make sure to completely cover the polish. Also – make sure to take the top coat over the edge of your nail. I also cover the polish with top coat first and then swipe the nail polish brush across the end of my nail. It helps seal the end which will keep the polish there looking nice for longer.
Step 8: Clean up!
Now go sit somewhere for a little while longer without touching anything. Smudging your nail at this point is a really upsetting thing to do!