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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Nail Polish – How to polish your own nails

After seeing to your cuticles and filling your nails (read here), they must be cleaned. This will remove any oil or moisturiser residue. Simply wipe them with a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover.

If you are planning on painting your nails, there is no need to buff them. The shine achieved from buffing will be covered with a polish, so you're wasting your time.

To begin, always apply a base coat. This will prevent your nails from discolouring. Have you ever noticed a yellowy-orange hue on your nails after removing a darker coloured nail polish? This is because a base coat was not applied. Apply the base coat to all ten nails in light strokes. Start the stroke near the cuticle and finish at the free-edge or tip of the nail. Wait a few seconds after each application for the coat to dry.

When applying the colour, ensure that you only have polish on one side of the polish brush. If you have too much polish on the brush it will swamp the cuticle. Always leave a tiny gap between the cuticle and the polish. If polish is applied on the cuticles, it will have a drying effect. This can make your cuticles look messy.

Only apply three brush strokes per nail. The fewer strokes you use, the fewer streaks the nail will have. If you have broad fingernails and wish to make them appear slimmer, simply leave a small polish-free gap either side of the nail.

Don’t worry if you make any mistakes (we all do it), they are easily corrected.  To remove polish from the cuticles, soak a small paint brush/cotton bud in nail polish remover. Carefully brush/rub over the excess polish and clean up around the outside of the nail. Ideally, you should only apply two coats of the coloured polish on each nail.

When applying a French polish, always apply the white tip first. To create the perfect white tip or smile-line, use the paint-brush to help you. Then apply your base and two coats of the main polish.

All polishes should be finished with a high gloss top coat.  This will prolong the polish and add a salon quality shine.

To speed up the drying process, there are many quick-drying tips and products around. There are some quick-dry-sprays available and some people even claim putting your nails in ice cold water to make the nails dry faster! However, the most effective smudge-free option is to just leave sufficient time for drying. To check that your nails are dry, tap them gently in an inconspicuous area. When nails are fully dry, apply cuticle oil to finish.