When you think about painting your nails, it can be hard to pinpoint why exactly those done by a professional manicurist look so much better than those done at home. You may have even searched “how to paint nails” in your web browser but somehow haven’t found the answers you were looking for. That’s why if you’re trying to find out how to give yourself the perfect mani, you’ve come to the right place. Learn how to apply nail polish like a pro and the steps you should follow to make sure your mani looks flawless! Just take a look at our mini guide below.
Table of Contents
How to prepare nails for polish
Properly preparing your nails before applying varnish is one of the key elements in achieving perfect nails. These few steps can improve the appearance of your manicure and its longevity, so it’s worth giving them a try. However, when prepping your nails, you may be unsure which steps are necessary or how to carry out some of them, for example, how to file nails or shape them. Let’s begin by listing out what you’ll want to do before applying any coating.
- Trim and file your nails
- Push back your cuticles
- Clean and degrease your nails
- Don’t forget to apply a base coat
How to file nails
Nail filing is more than simply going back and forth with a file. To safely file your nails, you’ll want to start from the outer corner and work your way to the centre. Repeat this process on both sides. Don’t go back and forth with the file, as by doing this, you can risk ending up with jagged and frayed nails. Also, remember to change your nail file every six months.
How to shape nails
To shape your nails, you will need a nail file, preferably 180 or 240 grit, and, optionally, nail clippers. The latter tool will be necessary if you have long nails and want to go for a shorter length. Once you’re set with these tools, pick your desired nail shape and file away!
How to apply nail polish
Now that we’ve done the prep and have the necessary tools, it’s time to learn how to paint nails correctly! Although each person can have a bit of a different technique, the three-stripe method is considered the most effective. Begin with wiping excess polish off of the brush. Then, move the polish brush from the cuticle to the tip across the middle of your nail. Next, swipe the brush along the left and right sides. This way, you can coat your entire nail evenly. Remember, you’ll want to keep each layer thin to avoid bubbles and creasing. Also, if you apply a second layer, wait for the first one to dry, and then repeat the three-stripe method.
How long do nails take to dry
With your nails beautifully covered in polish, you’ll now need to let them dry. The drying time will vary depending on the type of polish and the number of coats you applied. Nevertheless, you should give your new mani between fifteen to thirty minutes to completely dry. Of course, in the case of a gel manicure or acrylic nails, this process will look entirely different, as a LED or UV lamp will be used to cure your nails.
How to clean up nail polish
We’ve all ended up painting over cuticles, fingers and sometimes even the furniture or a favourite top. Especially when painting their dominant hand. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can restore your mani to its pre-spill version. You can simply dip a makeup brush in polish remover and gently sweep the excess nail polish off your cuticles. Another way is to soak your painted nails in warm water mixed with soap and then peel the excess off your skin.
How to remove nail polish
Again, what’s worth noting is that the product you use to remove nail polish will vary depending on the polish you used in the first place. Strong-bond varnishes such as the gel ones, will require the use of acetone and even soaking. However, if you’ve got a good, old-fashioned manicure with regular polish, a nail polish remover will suffice. Simply dip a cotton ball in the remover and wipe off the nail polish. Once you’ve removed it all, remember to wash your hands, use a hand moisturiser, and apply some regenerating oil to your cuticles.