How to Properly Polish a Nail

You’re probably thinking “what the hell girl? just put the polish on?!” However this is the STREAKLESS and FLAWLESS how to apply polish. I’m sick of seeing people polishing halfway up to their knuckle.

Your diagram of the day

So the first thing you want to do is CLEAN THE AREA. So before you even apply anything, go over your nails with polish remover. This will remove any oils or anything that will make the polish chip and peel.

Next thing you want to do is apply a base coat. Why? I’ll tell you why! Applying a base coat not only protects the nail from staining and penetration of the color, but it also provides a smooth surface to work on, filling all those little cracks, lines and dents that we may have.

Next apply the lacquer. The diagram above shows the direction. Get a small ball of polish on the end of your brush and set your brush in the middle of the nail, push down slowly toward the cuticle. About a mm away from the cuticle, STOP! This creates your smile line. When you apply polish straight to the cuticle it leaks through the whole cuticle area making the polish look messy and unprofessional. The next step I don’t agree with in this diagram and I’ll tell you why after. So you have your small ball a mm away from your cuticle, move straight to the first picture on the bottom row and pull your polish to one side. Make sure to pull your skin back and go straight to the edge of the nail and pull all the way to the free edge.

Next, without grabbing anymore polish, put your brush back in the center of the nail and using small bobs to get a straight smile line across and spread the polish easily, pull the brush to the other side of the nail and up to the free edge. Lastly place your brush back in the lower center of the nail and pull straight up the middle. The reason I believe this should be the last step is because it smooths out any lines that may have been created by pulling the polish to the side.

Make sure that your first coat is relatively thin; yes it will look pretty shitty but the second coat is what makes it!

Next apply your second coat. You don’t have to really wait any time at all to apply the second coat. By the time you’re finished applying your first coat you should be good to go. This coat can be a little bit thicker than the fist coat but don’t glob your polish on as it will leak into the cuticle and just ruin the whole look.

After applying the two coats of lacquer you want to apply the top coat. A top coat is important because it gives your nails a bit of a shine while also protecting the polish from chipping. It is always a good idea to “cap off” with the top coat. Capping off means to apply lacquer to the edge of the nail. The purpose of this is to create a smooth application that is less likely to peel.

Lastly as a finishing touch you will want to apply some drying drops of some sort. My two favorite are OPI drip dry drops which have a blend of Vitamin E and jojoba oils to dry your top coats anywhere from 5-7 minutes, although your underlying layers WILL still take 45 minutes to an hour. Yeah that’s right bitches it’ll take that long. Be careful! It doesn’t dry in an instant! And oh please do not think “well I’ll just apply it to each coat then I’ll be done right away!” No. The jojoba oil will make the layers peel off right away as soon as they dry if they are applied between or before layers.

Secondly I like the SpaRitual Andale dry and shine drops. They use carrot extract and rice bran oil to help fight free radicals and condition the nails. It feels like your nails are instantly dry however again you want to wait for the underlying layers to dry for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Remember, practice makes perfect so don’t be frustrated if you’re not a pro the first time you try, or the first 20 times you try… It will take a while to master the art.

Have fun polishing!




One thought on “How to Properly Polish a Nail

  1. Pingback: Your Guide to Nails « jdalbeauty

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