How to Paint Your Nails: 25 Tips to Paint Nails like a Pro

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How to Paint Nail Polish

Painting your nails is one of the easiest ways to change up your style. Manicurists are known for making your nails look their best, but going to the nail salon isn’t an option for many of us. No need to worry though, you can get an awesome manicure at home. Here are some tips that will help you rock your at-home manicure. No one will be able to tell the difference!

1. Prep Your Hands

Your nails will look better if you take care of your hands. Regularly moisturize and exfoliate for soft, smooth skin. Also, using a hand scrub soap will help prep your hands for any manicure.

2. Splurge on Nail Polish

Invest in a higher-quality nail polish. This not only looks better and improves the beauty of your hands, but it also lasts longer. You’ll experience less chipping and your polish is less likely to go rancid in the bottle. Bonus: High-quality brands are usually the first to have on-trend colors.

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3. Thoroughly Remove Old Polish

Make sure your nail beds are free of any old nail polish. Even if you’re not changing your nails color, polishing a clean nail bed makes your nails look more even.

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4. Choose a Shape that Fits Your Lifestyle

One of the biggest mistakes girls make when doing their own manicures is to choose a shape that doesn’t work for them. Example: You’re obsessed with super-long nails, but they make it impossible for you to perform your job duties. Choose a nail shape that you can live in!

5. Don’t be Afraid to Go Fake

If your nails are weak or break easily, there’s always the option of acrylic nails. There are a lot of user-friendly kits out there that will help you get the nails of your dreams. If you’d like to have fun customizing your nails, there are even “bare” nails.

6. Apply Sparingly

You want to apply thin layers of nail polish as opposed to thick ones. Thin layers dry quicker and stay on longer. Three thin coats will dry faster than one or two layers glopped on.

7. Moisturize

Moisturize your hands and cuticles for a long-lasting manicure. Moisturizing your cuticles helps prevent annoying hangnails!

Hand moisturizing

8. Choose the Right Brush

When choosing a nail polish, take a look at the size of the brush. You want a brush that’s about half the size of your nail. Too big of a brush will make it difficult to apply nail polish and too small of a brush will make your drying time uneven.

9. Apply Glitter the Right Way

When applying a glittery topcoat, use a piece of a cut up sponge to gently dab the glitter in place. Doing it this way will give you a lot more glitter!

10. Protect Your Nail Polish

Use a top coat to make your nail polish last longer! A top coat protects your nails from chips and fading. It can make a manicure last twice as long.

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11. Give Your Polish a Good Foundation

A good base coat gives your nail polish a great foundation. You can buy formulas to help strengthen your nails, making your nails grow and more!

12. Educate Yourself

Get to know the chemicals that are in your usual bottle of nail polish. There are many brands out there that carry nail polish that are free of the harshest chemicals.

13. Don’t Cut Your Cuticles

Cutting your cuticles only causes them to grow back faster and leads to tearing. Only cut your cuticles if you absolutely have to, like in the case of a hangnail.

14. Invest in a Good Manicure Kit

Investing in a good manicure kit gives you all the tools you need to get your nails looking gorgeous. Hint: Look for a kit with a metal file, cuticle pusher, nail buffer, and tweezers.

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15. Sanitize Your Tools

The number one way to get a nail infection is to use germ-laden tools! Make sure you’re cleaning your nail tools when you’re done. To clean, simply use soap and water to wipe off any debris. Also, use rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball to disinfect the tools.

16. Soak Your Hands First

Soak your hands before you start your manicure. This makes it easier to push your cuticles back and it softens your nails so filing is a breeze. Use warm water and soak for about five minutes, then pat dry.

17. When Done, Store Your Nail Polish the Right Way

Keep your nail polish bottles away from the sun! Sunlight alters the colors and can make the formula separate. Some experts swear by putting their nail polish in the fridge, but a dark, cool cupboard should be good enough.

18. To Make a Manicure Last, Wear Gloves

Purchase a cute pair of gloves to wear while doing dishes or any other heavy duty cleaning. This will make your manicure last twice as long! Hot water is nail polish’s number one enemy.

19. Take a Lesson From the Pros

Manicurists have a specific way that they apply nail polish. They don’t use a lot of strokes to apply the polish. They only use three strokes; one in the center, and one on either side of the nail. They start in the center of the nail, placing a drop of polish a couple of centimeters above the cuticle. They use that one drop for the entire nail. Next time you go to get your nails done, watch closely!

Professional Nail Manicure and Polish

20. Use a Toothpick

Toothpicks come in handy when you’re doing the hard work of attaching nail jewels. Use the toothpick to put a tiny dab of glue on your nail and while the toothpick is still wet, pick up the jewel and attach it to your nail.

21. Limit Messes with Glue

Painting some glue on the skin outside of your nail can prevent a lot of mess, especially if you’re using a stamp design! Simply paint some glue on the skin, paint your nails, and peel when done. Easy!

22. Fix Smudges the Easy Way

If your freshly painted nails get smudged, dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover and lightly roll it over the smudge. Fixing the smudge this way means you only have to repaint a small portion of your nail as opposed to the whole thing.

23. Maintain

Remember to maintain your manicure. Every other day, reapply your top coat and touch up any chips.

24. Choose the Right Red or Nude

Different tones of a nail polish shade can either flatter or ruin your skin tone. Do your research to find what red or nude works for you!

25. Dry Nails in a Hurry

Need to run? Harden the polish on your nails by dipping them in a bowl of ice water for 45-60 seconds. Just be sure your nails don’t touch the bowl’s sides or bottom.

There you have it, 25 different tips to up your nail painting game. How do you paint your nails?