I’ve mentioned more than a few times on here that I love painting my nails. It’s kind of a double-edged sword. I think painting my nails is a great stress reliever, but chipped nails gives me terrible anxiety. I seriously carry around nail polish with me at all times in case some of the polish chips.
Over the years, I’ve perfected the art. Now I’m not a huge fan of nail art, so it’s really not that hard to do a simple manicure at home. It’s also so much cheaper than going to a salon. Only when I need a little pampering or I’m going to an event or I’m with a friend will I pay to get my nails painted. I’d much rather do it myself!
Here’s my method:
ONE | Remove Polish
I used to paint my nails at night, but I had way too many nights where I got sheet marks on my nails. Now I remove my polish at night and then paint in the morning. Though it might not be true, I also like to give my little fingers a nice break from paint… even if it’s just for a night! I use regular nail polish remover from the drug store and cotton rounds. I soak the cotton and press it against my nail for a few seconds. Then I swipe and repeat as necessary. Sometimes, if I’ve used red polish, I pour remover into the cap. Then I dip a q-tip into the cap and press the end of the q-tip into the edges of my nails. (Those parts are tricky!)
TWO | I wash my hands. ALWAYS. I have a serious issue with how the nail polish remover makes my hands feel. Then I use lots of lotion. (See, that’s where removing at night comes in handy! Lotion on your nails can interfere with polish.)
THREE | I’m right handed… BUT my left hand shakes really badly. Even though I should be better at painting my left hand, my fingers will NOT hold still. I always start with the brush in my right hand my left hand on the table. This is something I do for my shaky hand, but it actually really helps with painting in general: I press my hand firmly onto the table. I paint from my pinky finger to my index finger. Then I turn my hand 90 degrees so that my fingers hang off the table and my thumb is perpendicular to the edge.
FOUR | Then I switch to painting my right hand. Same method, same technique.
FIVE | I go through with the same method to do a second coat. (For some colors, like lighter shades… I paint a third coat!)
SIX | No matter what, I have to sit still for at least ten minutes. Even when they feel sort of dry or look dry, the nails can smudge the minute you tap it. Dents, smudges, smears…. not pretty. One solution I’ve found that works the best, are these quick dry drops. Amazing. I still sit for a while to ensure the polish has hardened.
SEVEN | If I’m going somewhere important and need my nails to really be amazing, I use the Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat. This stuff makes your nails feel tougher than, well, nails. It prevents chipping, works really quickly, and is way cheaper than getting Gel or Shellak. Even better? It’s a piece of cake to remove when you actually want to remove it.
What are your tips for painting nails? Do you prefer DIY or salon nails?
PS Step 8 is Instagramming your new nail color! Just kidding… sort of.