Last Fabulous Friday we talked about nail prep and doing a full manicure. Today we’ll talk about the fun part: how to paint your nails! So the last step in the prep is to let your cuticle oil soak in as much as possible before you polish. This really hydrates your nails.
Before I polish, I wash my hands with soap and water, to get the residual oil off. I don’t wipe with acetone or anything like that, but I do get the majority of the oil off my nail plate.
The first thing I apply is one coat of my nail treatment, for me it’s Nailtiques Formula 2. It works well with my body chemistry and has totally stopped my peeling nails and has really helped with the strength. They also aren’t brittle, when I bang them against stuff I’m not nearly as likely to break a nail.
I do think that each person is different so not all treatments work for everyone. There are lots to choose from (OPI Nail Envy, several different formulas of Nailtiques, Nailtek, etc.), and I highly recommend finding something that works for your nails. I never want to be without my Nailtiques 2, I think I have 5 backups, lol.
Then on to a base coat! Base coats can do different things, there are ridge filling base coats, sticky base coats, hydrating base coats, etc. I use Orly Bonder, it’s a sticky base coat that I feel helps my nail polish really stay chip free. I actually buy it in the big squeezy bottle to refill my small bottle.
Another product that works well as a base coat is 786 Cosmetics’ Nail Rescue Primer. This nail treatment can be used as a base coat and works to strengthen weak and damaged nails from years of nail polish.
Then anywhere from 1 to 3 coats of polish. If there’s one thing I learned from painting my nails, is that you rarely can get away with just one coat of nail polish. I’ve almost become a habitual 3 coat polisher, unless it’s really apparent a polish doesn’t need it. Many nail polishes from 786 Cosmetics look opaque in 1 to 2 coats though!
When you polish your nails, try to keep the brush strokes minimal. The recommended polish technique is 3 strokes, one down the middle then each side. If you do lots of strokes it can tend to pick up polish that is already on the nail and create bald spots. Even if you have to do 3 coats it’s all okay because one of the most important thing when you polish your nails…..DRUMROLL PLEASE…..
A quick dry top coat!!!! Even if you ultimately want a matte look, start with a quick dry top coat. I use several different ones, most often is Seche Vite, but I also like Glisten and Glow , Essie Good to Go, and 786 Cosmetics’ Top Coat Clear. Because honestly who has time to wait ages for nails to dry?? Not me! I do wait about 20 + minutes before I do stuff, just to chill, but if I have to, I can go deal with kid stuff, change the laundry, things like that after doing my nails without wrecking my mani if I use a quick dry top coat. I wouldn’t stick my hands in dish washing gloves (and always use dish washing gloves to do dishes or chores with cleaner, saves the nails!), but other than that everything is fair game!
I actually usually do my manis at night after kids are in bed/settled down, just for my quiet time. Funny story, I introduced my coworker to the concept of quick dry top coat, she painted her nails at the office one day, put my Seche Vite on, went to pick up her children from daycare and was super impressed that she could wrestle kids into their carseats without ruining her mani!
Making a manicure matte can be a great change from a shiny mani. I have a couple more matte top coats to try, but right now my favorites are OPI’s matte top coat (though it smells awful!) and 786 Cosmetics’ Top Coat Matte.
I do my quick dry top coat, let it dry a couple minutes, then apply my matte top coat, and watch it magically turn my polish matte! I wash my hands after my mani is dry and it helps the smell go away.
These tips and tricks for how to paint your nails are things that work for me, to make my nails look good and my polish last! I know before I started polishing my nails regularly, I thought polish made my nails weak and brittle. I now realize that taking good care of my nails, including using a good cuticle oil, a treatment that really works for me, and base and top coats are the key to having beautiful nails, polished or not!
Lots of info, I know! Hopefully this helps you get the beautiful nails you’ve always wanted!
Live your life with love in your heart and glitter on your nails!