More and more lately, I’m running into ladies who are totally put together and stylish and have dope makeup but can’t do their own nails! They’re either about that salon life, where gel manicures get expensive, or never learned and just go bare. Or they’ve tried and hate doing their nails! Obviously, as someone with a nail polish blog, I say those options will not do! Doing your nails at home is cheaper, more fun, and isn’t as hard as you might think. There’s a whole world of polish options out there, and taking the time to give yourself a manicure is a great opportunity for self care.
✧ Let the first coat dry for 30 seconds before going in with the second. Let the second coat dry a little longer than that. And let the third coat dry a minute before going in with finishing touches or top coat.
✧ Some polishes take longer than others to dry!
✧ If you see an imperfection after doing a coat, let it dry before getting back in there with your brush to fix it. Smushing wet polish around often makes things worse instead of better!
✧ If the polish gets streaky or tugged on the last coat, let it dry and go in with one more thin coat. Or, apply top coat since sometimes this fixes streaks and makes them invisible.
✧ If a polish is goopy, it might just be old! Toss it.
✧ A coat is not each time the brush touches the nail. A coat is when the nail is first covered. The nail is often visible under the first coat. You may have to dip the polish brush back into the polish three times for one coat.
✧ With some bottles of polish, you will need to put the cap back in the bottle, screw it on, and shake it up a few times during your manicure.
✧ Chips and scuffs and dings happen. You can either take the polish off and do that one finger again, or paint over it when dry.
✧ If you get a little polish on the skin on the side of your nail, use an unpainted or dry nail to just scrape it off real quick.
✧ Nail art takes practice, but little flowers are really just dots close together!
✧ Don’t let the brush get flooded. Scrape the brush off in the neck of the bottle each time.
✧ Wait until your non-dominant hand is totally dry before moving on to paint your dominant hand.
✧ Have nail polish remover and q-tips handy to clean up polish on your cuticles
✧ Use polishes with good formulas! I have a whole post on this 😉
✧ Apply a base coat first so your nails are protected.
✧ Make sure you’re committed to the process of doing your nails. You will get those chips and dings if you’re messing around while they’re still drying. Use the restroom before you start, and have everything ready!
✧ A good top coat solves a lot of problems.
✧ Painting your dominant hand is HARD. It’s hard for everyone. Very few swatches on my blog are ever of my dominant hand. It will take double the time of your non-dominant hand, and my advice is to just be careful, practice often, and wait for each coat to dry before going back in.
✧ File your nails first!
✧ Nails that are all the same (or same-ish) length look better, even if they’re all short. Some polishes look better on short nails, so don’t fret if you have to really file them down so they’re even!
✧ Don’t paint all the way to the bottom of the nail- leave a little sliver unpainted. This is a new tip to me, too! I blogged more about it here. This helps manicures last longer.
✧ Do even, quick coats with a steady hand.
✧ Remember you can always start over! Even I forget this one…!
✧ Practice as often as you can! It gets easier.
If something in the beauty world is hard for you, remember you’re not alone, this stuff is fun to master, and it CAN be mastered! I couldn’t do winged liner for the longest time, and then one day I researched the best liquid liner, grabbed my makeup remover, and practiced for hours and hours. Now they’re in my repertoire! Nails are the same way. Buy a trusty-worthy bottle of Orly or OPI or something you like, have the acetone handy, and try, try, try, until manicures are under your belt.
Then you can come here and figure out which polishes to get obsessed with!
Let me know if you have any more newbie nail tips, and if you found these helpful! 💘