How to paint your nails

How to paint your nails

Painting your nails. Easy right? We all know how to do it. Or do we? As long as it looks ok when done that’s the main thing but there are better techniques that will help your manicure look better and last longer. Read on to find out what you should be doing.

As part of the 31 day challenge one of the prompts was “Tutorial” and I thought this would be the perfect time to do a manicure to help show you all how to do your nails properly. I first read this technique when I was around 11 first getting into painting my nails and it has stuck with me all that time. Not to mention I’ve since seen it recently on other nail blogs and “nail hack” type articles so it still stands strong.

How to paint your nails

The first rule is to only apply very thin coats. You might feel this is going to make it take forever to do your manicure and will mean you have to apply lots of coats but it really won’t. I still find most polishes are perfect in 2 coats, 3 at a push and because you’re doing a thin coat it dries quicker and is less prone to those awful smudges you get from the bed sheets hours after you thought it was dry! Less polish on the brush also makes it less likely that you’ll end up with that annoying bleed of polish onto your cuticles. Unless you just miss your mark as we all do sometimes and stick your brush all over your finger. 😉

Push your polish brush against the inside of the bottle neck (avoid getting polish on the top of the neck wherever possible – this will only dry and stop your bottle closing tightly, leading to gloopy or even dried out polish) to remove the majority of the polish. If you have to re-dip after each stroke don’t worry. It will depend on your polish as to whether you have to do this or you can get a full nail or more out of each one. The important thing is that you’re not putting too thick a coat on.

You should also try to avoid going over parts you’ve already painted. If it’s already started to dry you’ll just ruin the smooth finish it already had and make it look streaky. Ideally you should start with one stroke down the middle of your nail (the white in the image) then follow this up with one either side (the grey and the black). This will of course vary depending on the brush and your nail size. With a wider brush one stroke will do my little nail almost every time but my thumb nail will always require the full 3. As you can see in the above picture the two side strokes would pretty much have covered all of my nails but the middle one just makes sure.

Always start by your cuticle and move towards the tip of your nail. Try to stick with one direction like this as if you have a polish that will show the strokes it will always look better to have them going one way, not some going across the nail rather than along the length. If you think you have a little too much polish on your brush feel free to start a little away from the cuticle and push towards it slightly to get your full coverage.

Finally you should finish up with a quick swipe across the tip of your nail. This is known as wrapping the tips. I don’t always do this as I find I end up with a glob of polish under my nail which I pick at and ruin my manicure in the process but if you’re not clumsy like me it will really make your manicure last longer.

By doing your nails this way you’ll find that by the time you’ve done both hands once the first coat should be near enough dry that you can do your second coat. Apply your base and top coats in exactly the same way and voila!

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