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Painting your nails seems like a simple task, but if the nail polish isn’t applied correctly it can look very cheap and tacky.
Here are a few of the “Do’s and Don’ts” on polishing your nails like a pro:
1. A Coat Of Polish Won’t Disguise Unkempt Nails
If your nails are looking ragged you might think a coat of polish will make them look better, but the opposite is true.
Before you apply polish, nails should be trimmed and neatly filed into shape. It’s also a good idea to soak them in warm, soapy water first, then file the tips and buff the tops. Your polish will last longer.
2. Take Off The Old Polish First
When you’ve got old polish that’s flaking or chipped, it can be tempting to throw a new coat over it to disguise the damage. If you’ve done this before, you know what a mistake it is; you’ll end up with nails that look as smooth and polished as asphalt – in other words, not smooth at all!
That’s why it’s so important to remove all your old nail polish before you apply a new coat. It only takes a minute or two to get the old polish off. And when applying polish, use this three-stroke technique: One stroke up each side of the nail, then one up the middle to fill it in.
3. Let Your Nail Polish Dry Completely
One of the biggest mistakes ladies make with their polish is not giving it time enough to dry completely. If you apply two coats, it will take about 20 minutes to be thoroughly hardened.
So before you start to polish, make sure you’ve got time to sit and let the paint dry. You can use the time to watch the recording of your favorite show, read your newest magazine, or just sit back and take a little “me” time to relax.
1. Color Outside The Lines
Remember when you were a kid, how mad you would get about coloring outside of the lines? Your nails are the same way; painting outside the lines looks amateurish.
To avoid getting polish on the cuticle, place the brush flat at the edge of the cuticle and drag it to the top of the nail in a fluid motion.
You can avoid getting any color on the skin by leaving a tiny space unpainted on each side; this has an added benefit of making the nail look longer.
2. Stop At One Coat
You should always apply at least two coats of nail polish. The first coat works as a base, binding with the nail and filling in ridges. The second coat, or top coat, gives shine and makes your manicure look more professional.
If you prefer, the top coat can be a clear polish; look for one that offers protection from chips and peeling.
3. Leave Your Mistakes Unfixed
Some of us just never develop the steady hands needed for painting our own nails. If you’re one of those who always tend to get your nail polish in the wrong places, you should also take the time to fix the mistakes.
To retouch your manicure, just dip a cotton swab in a bit of nail polish remover. You can use this to gently “erase” all the polish that has found its way out of bounds.
A cuticle pusher can also be used to remove excess polish before it starts to dry, although you may still need to touch up with a cotton swab afterwards.
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