When was the last time you painted your own nails? Most of us enjoyed painting our own nails in our teenage years, and it was especially fun during sleepovers.
But as adults, we opt for salons and manicurists to get a professional job done. It makes sense because we can't be arsed to paint with our non-dominant hand, remove stains, and scrap countless attempts at nail art!
However, we've come across 19 tips from Cosmo that make DIY nail painting a lot easier. Take a look and see if these tips could work for you:
TIP #1. Line your nails with petroleum jelly or white craft glue before painting them for an easy clean up.
This tip is useful when it comes to painting using your non-dominant hand. Use a cotton swab to lace the skin around your nails with rub petroleum jelly like Vaseline before you start painting. This creates a barrier between the polish and your skin so that after you've painted your nails, you can wipe off the Vaseline and any polish mistakes along with it.
OR, use Elmer's Glue (or an equivalent) to prevent paint from drying on the skin around your nails. Paint around your nail with Elmer's Glue, and let it dry before painting on your nail polish. When you're done painting them, simply peel off the glue.
TIP #2. To prevent the tips of your painted nails from chipping, paint on TWO basecoat layers: One on the top half of your nail, and the second coat over the entire nail.
Paint the first layer of your basecoat polish on the top half portion of your nails only. When your nails have dried, paint a second coat of polish, but over the entire nail as you would do normally. This technique helps the polish on the tips of your nails (which are more prone to chipping) last longer.
TIP #3. Make your nail color pop by using a white nail polish as your basecoat.
Unless your polish is super opaque, the natural tint of your fingers will change the color of your polish. To get the paint's true color, paint two coats of white nail polish first, then go over it with your colored polish.
TIP #4. Paint your nail art designs on a plastic sandwich bag first, peel them off, and seal them on your nails with nail art glue or a clear topcoat for easy application.
If painting designs on your dominant hand is too difficult, try painting them on a plastic sandwich bag first. Paint a few thick coats of polish onto the plastic, and then add your design on top. After it dries, peel each design off the plastic, and adhere them to your nail with nail art glue or a clear topcoat.
TIP #5. Use paper-hole reinforcement stickers as a guide for painting a half-moon mani.
Place the paper hole reinforcement stickers along the base of your nail, and press it into place with a bobby pin or a nail art dotter tool. Paint your first coat on each nail along the stickers. Then one nail at a time, paint a second coat of paint, let it dry for a minute, and carefully remove the sticker.
TIP #6. Use some tape for two-tone designs.
After you've chosen two different polishes, paint one coat of the lighter polish on each nail, and seal it with a clear topcoat. Once the layers are completely dry, apply two strips of tape over the tips of your nails so that they cross in the middle and create a point. Use the darker of the polishes to paint a layer over the entire nail and on top of the tape. Let it dry for a minute, then grab both ends of the tape and slowly peel them back, at the same time, for the finished look.
TIP #7. Use the tip of a pencil eyeliner to place tiny nail art accessories like rhinestones on your nails.
If your fingers or tweezers are too big to pick up and place tiny jewels, use the tip of an eyeliner or lip pencil instead. The end of a pencil is tacky enough to grip the jewels from above and won't get in the way of your design.
TIP #8. Create a French manicure with ease by looping a rubber band around your fingertip.
Use a rubber band and tie it in the middle. Loop one end over your thumb to create tension on the band, and align the other end over the top of your nail and just below the edge to create the French tip shape. Use the edge of the rubber band as a guide, and paint the tip of your nail.
TIP #9. Create your own nail shade by mixing loose pigments with clear polish.
Pour a little bit of eyeshadow pigment into a spoon, then add some clear polish to it. Mix it all together with a cotton swab, grab a brush, and swipe on your new color!
TIP #10. Get a marbled effect by using drops of swirled nail polish and a cup of water.
TIP #11. Make your nail polish dry faster by soaking your nails in ice water after painting them.
Fill a bowl with ice and water, and soak your nails for a few minutes after painting them. The cold water will set the paint and help your nails dry faster!
TIP #12. Fix a smudged nail by adjusting the polish with the tip of your tongue.
If you accidentally smudge almost-dry nails, try readjusting the paint with the tip of your tongue instead of your finger. Your tongue is just soft enough to fix the paint without leaving any imprints. But only use this tip only when necessary, and try not to lick your nail polish too often.
TIP #13. Remove stubborn polish by soaking cotton pads in nail polish remover, wrapping them around your nails, and securing them with foil.
Remove stubborn, or glitter, nail polish without hassle by soaking a cotton pad in nail polish remover, and placing it on your nail. Wrap a strip of foil around the cotton and your finger, and squeeze to secure it. Leave the foil wraps on your fingers for 5 minutes, and then slide off the foil and cotton at the same time. Your polish will come off with it.
TIP #14. Paint white craft glue as a basecoat before painting coats of glitter polish for easy removal.
Paint on Elmer's Glue on your nails as a basecoat so that you can easily remove them later. Let the glue dry completely before painting over it with as many coats of glitter polish as you want. Whenever you're ready to remove your polish, peel back the glue and the glitter will easily come off with it.
TIP #15. Roll your nail polish bottle instead of shaking it to avoid air bubbles.
Hold the bottle between your palms and rub your hands back and forth to stir the polish without creating bubbles.
TIP #16. Loosen a stubborn nail polish lid by soaking it in hot water.
Put the nail polish bottle upside down in a cup. Fill the glass with really hot water just high enough to cover the lid but not high enough to soak the bottle of paint (hot water can tamper with the consistency of the polish). Wait a few minutes, remove the nail polish bottle from the glass, and then open the loosened lid.
TIP #17. Unscrew a tight lid by wrapping a rubber band around the handle for better grip.
Wrap a large rubber band around the top of a nail polish bottle before trying to open it. The rubber will provide a better grip for twisting.
TIP #18. Spread petroleum jelly around the lip of the bottle before closing it to prevent the polish from drying shut.
With a cotton swab, wipe a tinge of petroleum jelly into the ridges on the top of the bottle. This will make it easier to open the next time and prevent it from sealing shut.
TIP #19. Store your nail polish upright in a box with painted stickers on top to indicate the colors.
To keep your polishes organized, paint a strip of polish on an adhesive file folder label, punch out a hole, and stick the paint sample on the top of the nail polish bottle. Repeat this for all of your polishes, set them in a box, and store them in a cool, dry place.
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