Manicure, Managed

     I know when I first started painting my nails on the reg, I was less than adept. My strategy read something like “just get the polish on the nail and deal with the mess afterwards”. Not exactly efficient, and it made manicures out to be a chore. However, I’ve come to polish (hehehehe) my technique and I thought I’d share my few tips and tricks with you dudes. I’ll go through the key issues I struggled with (nail polish is so dramatic) and how I remedied them.

     Not to stifle your creativity, but nail polish outside the confines of your nail isn’t a great look. If you actually possess hand-eye coordination this may not be much of an issue, but for those of us who are not naturally graceful and ambidextrous - it is.  Mostly this takes practice. Still, a few tools can help the process along. I like to keep something to clean up along the way handy (can’t stop won’t stop with the puns). A wooden cuticle stick, or something tapered and easily maneuvered around the nail bed will help to clear off polish before it dries. This saved me loads of hassle and kept things neater. Recently, I’ve started using a dedicated pen (by Sally Hansen), saturated with remover, to clean up mistakes. This is much more effective, and dealing with rogue polish is a no-brainer now.

     This used to drive me up a wall. Nothing is more frustrating than finishing a manicure only to see those sadistic little bubbles rise to the surface and mock you. Rude. I’ve found that not shaking the bottle too vigorously helps with prevention – if the polish is separated roll the bottle back and forth between your hands. Heat can also be problematic so try popping the bottle in the fridge for a few minutes before you paint, and it should apply smoother. Running a fan can also make the polish sticky, so turn it off and keep the bottle closed in between coats. The thinner the layers, the better.

     I still “struggle” with this, but I think that’s mostly down to my activity. Work means I’m always typing and filing which is less than kind on your nails. Regardless I do think a few things aid in extending the life of your manicure. I’m always sure to wash my hands directly beforehand to remove any oil or residue. Polish remover will also do the trick, and I’ve heard the same of vinegar. A rubberized base coat (I use Orly Bonder) helps the polish to bind well and also prevents staining the actual nail. Lastly, a topcoat will add shine and seal everything in place. I find running some along the tip of my nail cuts down on fading and chipping in that area too. Using a buffer to smooth out ridges and flaking has also been a lifesaver.

     This was the most irksome issue in my eyes, but one I’ve fully solved. Seche Vite topcoat is dry to the touch in less than two minutes and fully dry at around 10.  No longer must I wait around helplessly or wake up with sheet-smudged nails. If you don’t want to splurge on a topcoat, dipping your hands in cold water or spraying on some non-stick cooking spray will help. They aren’t as foolproof, but they should avoid any major issues.

Finish off with a nourishing hand cream (this Palmers option smells delicious and is affordable) and you're all set!

     That’s all, folks. Do you have any manicure woes?



Post a Comment