Having your nails done by a professional manicurist and pedicurist can be a pampering treat. However, you might end up spending a lot of money if you have to visit the nail salon twice a week or so. If you can learn to paint your nails perfectly, you will save money, and you will be able to express yourself even better, since you can change your nail color on a whim without having to worry about the cost.
What you need:
- Nail polish
- Nail polish remover
- Base coat and clear coat
- Cotton balls
- Nail clippers
- Nail file
- Nail buff
Clean and prepare your nails. Before doing any painting, you will need to make sure your nails are clean and ready to accept polish. If you have existing paint on your nails, remove these with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover. Clip your nails to the desired length and shape, and file the edges of your nails, so that these will be smooth. Filing will also get rid of any rough or uneven edges, which might snag on clothing and upholstery.
Wash your hands thoroughly after clipping. You can use moisturizer on your hands, as this will help clean any nail polish smudges from your fingers later on.
After cleaning, partially soak a cotton ball with nail polish remover and wipe across each nail. This will also help ensure that the base coat will adhere to your nails, especially if you used moisturizer.
Apply base coat. Applying base coat before nail polish will help protect your nails from discoloration. Apply one layer of clear nail polish or base coat onto your nails. Start by painting on one side, running the brush from the base of the nail to the edge. Then, paint the other side using a similar stroke. Then, paint the center part, also running the brush from base to edge.
When painting your nails, apply light pressure on the brush such that the bristles will spread out a bit. Repeat this on each nail, and wait to dry.
Apply the color polish. Roll the bottle of nail polish between your hands for about half a minute. This will ensure that the paint is thoroughly mixed, and that it will be warm enough to apply. Don’t shake the bottle, as this will result in bubbling.
Apply the nail polish using the same strokes you used for the base coat. The brush should start from the base and go toward the edge. Let this first layer air dry. Apply a second coat of color nail polish using the same stroke. Let the second layer dry thoroughly. If any nail polish goes into your skin, use cotton buds soaked with nail polish remover to clean.
Apply clear coat. Clear coat is used to protect your nails from chipping and peeling. Apply one layer of clear coat after the color polish has dried. This will give your nails shine, and will also protect your nails.
Some tips. The biggest part of painting your nails is usually the long wait for the paint to dry in between coatings. Don’t rush this process. Let the nails air dry naturally. Also, make sure you are painting your nails in a well-ventilated area, since nail polish fumes might cause nausea and suffocation.
Some manicurists would use cuticle remover and a pusher to take out dry skin from the base of the nails, and push back the cuticle, for a better-formed nail. You can also do this, but take care not to cut yourself in the process.
Painting your nails perfectly will depend on finding the right color, having a steady hand, and a lot of patience.