It happened time after time. I would look at the gorgeous bright red bottle on my dresser, beckoning me. I would think – this time it will be different, I will get it right! Then half an hour later I would be sitting on the floor, bundles of nail polish remover-soaked cotton wool littered around me, blotched with the red nail polish I had tried – unsuccessfully – to paint on my nails.
Painting your nails at home is an affordable alternative to getting a manicure. However, if you’re not used to painting your own nails it is quite a learning curve.
Eventually I got tired of repeating the same thing over and over, so I researched how to paint nails neatly, and also carefully watched the nail technician when I went for a manicure.
Below I have compiled a step-by step guide for you, so you can learn how to paint your nails perfectly.
Step 1 – Gather your supplies
The first step to beautiful nails is to get your supplies in one place. To make it easier for future use, I would suggest getting a pretty basket and keeping all your supplies together.
Here’s a list of the suppliers you need to paint your nails perfectly
- Nail polish
- Base coat
- Clear top coat
- Nail clippers
- Cuticle stick
- Nail file
- Cotton swabs (if you can find the ones for make up with the pointy tip that would be ideal)
- Nail polish remover (acetone free if you can)
Try to get the best quality nail polish you can afford – the finish will be smoother and it will last longer on your nails. Get everything together on a desk or table, and make sure you are sitting comfortably.
Step 2 – Preparation
At this point you might be ready to get that brush and start painting. Not so fast! To get perfectly painted nails requires preparation. It will be worth it when you have beautifully neat painted nails that don’t chip after the first day!
If you’re wearing nail polish, first remove it. Then, using your cuticle stick, push back your cuticles. Be gentle with this – it can hurt if you push too hard. To make your cuticles softer you can soak them in some warm water first.
The next step is to trim and file your nails. Make sure your nails are properly dry first to avoid breaking them. Once you have done that, quickly go over your nails with a little nail polish remover to clean them of any excess oils or lotion. (This helps the nail polish stick to the nails).
Step 3 – The base coat
Skipping the base coat might seem like a timesaver in the short run, but it will cost you time when you have to repaint your nails after a day or two because of chipping.
A base coat sticks better to your nails than the actual nail polish. It then provides a base for your nail polish to stick on to. A base coat also prevents your nails becoming discolored from colored polishes.
Step 4 – Adding color
Now for the fun part!
Add the color in thin layers. This allows the nail polish to go on and dry smooth, without any bumps and lumps. You will need approximately 2 – 3 coats. Allow each coat to dry fully before adding the next one. If you paint on another coat too soon it will affect the layer underneath and you will end up with smudges and dents.
Paint the color on in three strokes – one down the center of your nail, then one each on the sides.
Do you want to know a simple tip to paint your nails perfectly? Leave a little gap. Don’t paint all the way to skin at the side of your nails, and to your cuticles. Make it a very little gap and you will end up with neater nails, less clean-up to do, and a lot less frustration!
Step 5 – The top coat
After all your careful work to paint your nails perfectly, the final step will ensure your handiwork looks great for up to a week!
When adding your top coat make sure to cover all the polish, and take the brush all the way to over the edge of your nail. This will provide a seal and help prevent chipping. You will only need one layer of the top coat.
If you ended up with any nail polish on the skin around your nails, take a cotton swab and dip it into the nail polish remover. Gently clean up any spots.
And there you have it – the 5 easy steps to paint your nails perfectly! If you want to learn more tutorials click here.
Do you have any tips that you use to keep your nails looking gorgeous? Comment below!