Saturday, February 16, 2013

How I Paint My Nails (Step-by-step Tutorial)

Jessie recently asked me how I paint my nails to get the edges neat, so I decided I'd do a little step-by-step and link to some tutorials that I found helpful.
Please note that I am in no way a nail/skincare expert, and I haven't been polishing my nails for very long in the greater scheme of things - this routine is one that I find works for me personally and I hope it can help you too!

Here's what I do:
  1. Use makeup pads and a polish remover with acetone to remove any polish on my nails.  (Here's a tutorial by starofmaybeauty on Youtube)
  2. Wash my hands.  I usually use hand soap and scrub my nails with a nail brush, then dry my hands on a towel and make sure that all moisture is removed.  I don't want any acetone left on my skin because it really dries me out.
  3. Apply base coat to all my nails.  I use OPI Natural Nail Base Coat.
  4. Apply polish colour to all fingers except my thumbs after the base coat has dried.  I use this technique, shown here in Lacquerized's awesome tutorial.  I also wrap the tips of my nails by holding the brush at a ninety degree angle to the tip of my nail and running the brush lightly over the tip.  This not only makes sure there's a nice bit of colour there, but also extends wear time.
  5. Why don't I paint my thumbnails with colour?  Here's why: I use my thumbs for polish cleanup.  When I'm painting my nails and I get a bit on my cuticles or the skin on the side, I've found that it's much easier to clean up straight away rather than wait until after the polish has dried; so I immediately use my unpolished thumbnails to scrape away any offending polish.  I keep a tissue near me so I can wipe my thumbs.  (Tip from PlasmaSpeedo on Youtube)
  6. Apply second and third coats of polish if necessary.  I usually polish my left hand and then my right, and after I've finished with my right hand the left is usually ready for the next coat.
  7. After all polish is applied, I wait for it to dry and then apply top coat.  I use OPI Top Coat.
  8. I clean up any remaining polish on the sides of my fingers with OPI's Correct and Clean Up remover pen.  I've found this is the easiest way - you can also use acetone or remover with a brush, but I've tried this and it really doesn't work for me!  If there are any huge smudges on the sides of my fingers, I usually just dip a cotton bud (Q-tip) in remover and take it off with that.
  9. Once my polish is completely dry (I usually wait an half-an-hour or so, because I hate to smudge my nails or get marks in my smooth finish accidentally) I moisturise my hands and apply Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter.  Acetone remover really dries out the skin by the sides of my nails, so I make sure to rub the Lemony Flutter in there.
I hope that this can help someone out there!  As always, just let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to help.


  1. I think that the YouTuber who cleans up with their thumbs might be PlasmaSpeedo :) She's the one I heard that tip from, anyway!
    Great post.

    1. Ah, thank you! That's exactly the person I was talking about. I'll add the link to the post now!


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