Monthly Archives

October 2011


Painting Nails

Did you know that when I was growing up, my mother rarely wore makeup, and thus we never really had it in the house? And that she cut my hair until I was nearly in high school, in an extremely haphazard manner? Because of those reasons and my own incompetence, I am the last person on earth to be dispensing advice on makeup or hair.

The one beauty-related thing that I can do pretty well apparently though, is paint my nails. I received a lot of messages after this postasking about how I painted my toenails so neatly. So today I want to share with you my very elementary nail painting process, and some of my tips.

1. Start with your tools – nail polish remover to completely remove old nail polish, some cotton pads that don’t leave behind little lints, a nail buffer board (I have an old version of this one), and your nail polish color.

2. I am a strong believer in using both a base coat (the one on the way left), and a top coat (the one on the way right). The color I’m using is Opi Candy Apple Red. In this case my base coat is also a strengthener.

3. BUFF and file your nails. You should be buffing your nails with the smoothest part of the board, which will get rid of those ridges. Use the rougher areas to file down your actual nail tips into whatever shape you like. Buffing is really important and I feel that a lot of people skip this step!

4. Okay now paint your nails. You will see in this picture in the next that I’m just kind of painting haphazardy and not really “staying in the lines.” Yes, I received a Satisfactory Minus in 4th grade for Art for the same reason. The most important thing is just to make sure all the nail gets color – don’t worry about getting some extra around the edges.

5. Wait about ~10 minutes between coats. Since I do base coat, 2x color coat, and top coat, that means at least 40 minutes. I typically paint my nails during an episode of Real Housewives which gives me plenty of time, and the show never taxes my brain so I am able to concentrate. I like to do my nails at night and you’ll see why.

6. Okay – now wait for your nails to dry. They should look a little messy like mine above. Go to sleep, and the next morning while in the shower – just peel off the excess nail polish from your skin. It usually takes me 2-3 minutes to peel everything off cleanly.

7. Hooray! Clean and neat nails. This method has worked for me for years and for a lot of my friends too. A way to make it even easier is to put a little vaseline all around your nails (but not actually on your nails) before painting them – the nail polish comes off even more easily the next day in the shower.

Did this help any of you? Please share any further nail painting techniques/tips in the comments – and have a great Friday!

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