I’ve been painting my nails since I was about 6, granted I wasn’t great but you’d better be sure I had my nails done. Through the years I’ve tried all the trends. In high school I think I used to paint my nails every other day just to try something new.
I didn’t always have the luxury of going the nail salon so with practice I got really good with doing my nails at home. Before quarantine I was getting my nails done kind of regularly, needless to say that stopped in March. I hadn’t painted my own nails in a while so I was a little rusty.
The satisfaction of looking at your nails and knowing you did that is such a good feeling. Practice makes perfect and I have all the tips and tricks for you to ace your at home mani.
I always start with clipping/filing my nails. I like to change up my nail shape sometimes so a nail clipper helps with that especially if you’re going for almond or coffin shape. Then I file just to clean it up and shape more. I typically try to file my nails motioning in the same direction to avoid my nails splitting. Nail files are super easy to find and you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on some clippers either.
Now for the painting part! You need a good top coat! I’ve tried so many and yes this is super important. It helps your manicure last longer but most importantly it helps with some colors staining your nails (red, we all know her). My favorite top coat is by Defy & Inspire. I use this before and after I apply my desired color. This makes my nails super shiny which we love.
Applying the actual color is super easy! Start with enough polish on the brush that when you pull it out of the bottle is not dripping everywhere. Paint in sections starting with middle of your nail then move to right then left, this will help the color to look even. And yes, always do 2 coats!!
Let them dry! Stay off your phone if possible (i don’t always follow that rule) this prevents any smudges/scuffs. Pro tip: I let them dry a little bit before I add top coat.
Now let’s talk cuticles for a second. DO NOT cut them please! I am no professional but with a bit of research you can find that you just need to push them back softly and make sure you use a good nourishing oil to help moisturize and keep your nails strong!
Orange sticks are SO helpful. Use them to carefully push back your cuticles and clean up any polish you painted outside the “lines”. These are so inexpensive and you can pretty much get them anywhere. The ones I have are from target. Another p1ro tip: for cleaning up mess I dip my orange stick in polish remover, wrap the tiniest bit of cotton around it and then dip back in polish remover. Voila! Now you wont have nail polish all over your fingers.
Lastly nail polish brands: SUPER IMPORTANT! If you want your mani to last a good week spend the extra dollar on the polish. I’ve tried those $2 polishes and I don’t get very far in the week tbh. The quality of the less expensive polishes shows when painting your nails and we defintely want to avoid lumpy and streaky nails. Here are my fav brands that won’t break the bank but will make it look like you did!
Remember patience and practice are super important! But above all else just have fun with it (: