Durring my girly project, I was surprised at the realization I didn’t know how to paint my nails.
I had borrowed a friend’s nail kit, picked a color and went to town. It ended up looking streaky, messy and lumpy. Nail Fail. I will admit that I was doing it in low light while watching The Shining, so I wasn’t exactly focused.
I had thought that doing my nails was a one step process, add polish, nope. After a couple hours of denial, I asked Google and called friends and patched together this 13 step process to nails you can be proud of.
13 Steps To Picture Perfect Nails
- Remove Old Polish
Start by taking off any old polish with nail polish remover and a cotton ball. I tried using toilet paper and it just fell apart, not recommended.
- Trim Your Nails
Cut and file your nails. Don’t cut past the white of your nail. When filing, file gently in one long stroke from one side to the center of the nail. Nails can weaken if you file too low into the corners and sides. Try and get your nails to about the same length and shape.
- Soak Your Fingers – Optional
Rest your hands in a bowl of warm water for five minutes. Add two tablespoons of a bath salt or some liquid soap to soften the nails. Don’t make the water too hot or it will dry out your hands and nails.
- Soften Cuticles
Apply cuticle oil or cuticle lotion on dry hands. It you don’t have cuticle oil, and who does, you can always use olive oil.
- Push Back Your Cuticles
Use a cuticle or Popsicle stick to press cuticles back so they don’t get in the way of the polish.
- Scrub & Moisturize Your Hands
Exfoliate hands with a body scrub or homemade mixture of olive oil and kosher salt or raw sugar. Scrub for a couple minutes, then wash thoroughly. Dry hands and apply a rich moisturizer.
- Pick a Polish
Lighter colours are easier to maintain than darker ones, since chips will be less noticeable.
- Warm the Polish
Roll the bottle between your hands to warm the nail polish for about 25-30 seconds. Open it, and scrape some of the excess nail polish off on the side of the bottle. Don’t shake it. Rolling the bottle keeps bubbles out of the polish and keeps your nails smooth.
- Base Coat
Apply one coat of clear nail polish (base polish works best!). Allow it to fully dry to the touch before proceeding. It’s okay if some of the color gets on your skin. Nobody will be able to tell since there’s no color.
- Paint On the Right Way
Paint one stripe of color in the middle of your thumb or pinky nail. Then, paint a stripe on the left, continuing to the right. This subtly focuses the color in the middle of the nail. Remember to keep your hand steady. Don’t worry if it looks too thin — it’s supposed to. Re-dip your brush into the bottle before starting the nail so the color is evenly distributed throughout your nails. Let it dry completely before adding you last coat. You may have to wait 10-20 minutes, so you may want to turn on your television or some music.
- Second Coat – Optional
Add another coat of color if desired, depending on the shade of color you want. Bear in mind that if you want a color very similar to the bottle you should paint two coats, but if you want a lighter shade then skip to the next step. Let this dry. Remember the top coat is the one everyone will see, and the one that you’ll feel. Keep that coat smooth!
- Clear Coat – Optional
Paint a last coat of clear polish to keep the color lasting for at least one more week! This seals and protects the color.
- Let Your Nails Dry
Wait for your nails to dry completely before doing anything else. You can watch TV while you wait. Try not to wave your arms or shake your wrists frantically in an attempt to dry your nails. This can tone down the shine in your nails. Enjoy your freshly done nails!