Painting your own nails can get kind of tricky at times, so it’s always a good idea to have some nail polish tricks up your sleeve to help you along. I like painting my own nails, but there are times that it can get downright frustrating because I don’t have enough time to let them dry, so they smudge or I have to spend what seems like forever to clean up messes! If you could use a little help in the manicure department, be sure to try some of these smart nail polish tricks and see a big difference in your paint job!
1. Dab It
Are you a fan of glitter nail polish? Glitter polish is perfect for those times you want to cover up a not-so-perfectly painted nail or just add some sparkle to your nails. Sometimes, there can be an issue with getting an even coat of glitter to the entire nail. You’ve probably tried some glitter polishes that spread evenly like a dream, whereas others come out in globs. One of the easy nail polish tricks to fix this is to dab on the polish rather than brushing it on. Get a dollop of glitter, dab it on your nail and then lightly spread it out.
2. Add Vinegar
Vinegar might not have the most pleasant fragrance, but if it can help your nail polish last longer, would you use it? The trick is to apply some distilled white vinegar with a cotton pad to your nails before painting them to help polish “stick” to the nail better. Doing so should help clean your nail beds and assist polish with staying put and helping avoid unsightly chips!
3. White Polish Ombre
The next time you’re thinking about painting your nails, why not try ombre nails? Ombre looks good on just about anything and there’s a super easy nail polish trick that allows you to use just two colors to create a gradient-like effect. Grab some foil and add a few drops of bright nail polish that’s enough for four fingers. Next, add 4 drops of white nail polish next to the first nail polish but gradually add more white polish as you go from your pointer finger to pinkie. Mix the colors together and apply. Your thumb will be just the original nail polish and your pointer to pinkie fingers will gradually have more white polish, which gives it the cool ombre effect!
4. Toothpaste for Stains
Don’t you just hate it when you remove your nail polish, only to find that your nails are still stained? One of the easiest nail polish tricks to do when you run into this problem is to grab some whitening toothpaste and spread it along your nails. Next, get an old tooth brush you don’t use or a nail brush, scrub and wash off!
5. Easy Nail Art
There are lots of easy ways to create fun nail art, like using sandwich bags, tape, hole reinforcements and more, but perhaps the easiest of all is using a fine-tipped Sharpie. If you’ve got a pretty steady hand, you can use gold or black Sharpies to draw on designs, create a French tip or pretty much whatever you want. The best thing about trick is that if you make a mistake (before you apply the top coat), just wipe it off with rubbing alcohol and start over!
6. Avoid Sun and Wind
The very next time you give yourself a manicure at home, remember to avoid painting your nails in direct sunlight or next to a fan. Doing either is just asking for trouble because the sun and wind can disrupt the drying process and cause air bubbles, which will overshadow all of your hard work! Other tips for avoiding air bubbles are to keep nails dry before painting them and getting rid of any oil or residue on nail beds.
7. Be Patient
Waiting for your nails to dry can be one of the hardest things to do. I mean, you’re literally waiting for paint to dry! Be that as it may, remember to be patient when you’re painting your nails. Blowing on them to encourage faster drying actually prevents your polish from drying properly due to the moisture in your breath. If you’re in a hurry, try the cool setting on your blow dryer for a few seconds.
8. Less is Better
When it comes to applying nail polish, less is always better. Loading up the brush with too much lacquer can create a mess and it’ll take much longer to dry. Short, thin strokes are also a no-no as they can look messy. The key is apply enough polish to cover the nail in three strokes (not coats). It will take practice, but applying nail polish in three stokes starting from the base of the nail, then left and right will ensure an even coat. If your polish isn’t quite as opaque as you like, add another coat.
9. Say No to Quick-dry Polish
The last nail polish tip I have for you might be a bit of shock, but quick-dry polish isn’t always a good idea. Here’s why: quick dry formulas tend to be drying, so using them on the regular can dry out your nails. Sure, they’re okay on occasion, but don’t get in the habit of using only quick-dry if you want to have healthy, hydrated nails.
I hope you learned something new from this list of nail polish tricks and tips and give them a try! Applying nail polish is a great way to express yourself, add some color to your outfits and lift your spirit. Do you have any of your own nail polish tricks for perfect nails? For a visual guide on painting your nails, check out this cool infographic from Refinery 29: refinery29.com.