Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tips on Tuesday: Nice & Neat Painted Nails

I've been asked how I paint my nails neatly and I want to show you how I combat cuticle flooding, sheet imprints and some tips and tricks I use to get my nails picture ready! Please bear with me as thinking about how I paint my nails isn't something I do too much anymore! This post is wordy and picture heavy.
-- Sorry in advance! --
I found this awesome picture on Pinterest on how to paint your nails neatly, and when I sat down to paint my nails consciously, this is exactly what I do:

Those are the basics.
But let me take you through some of the steps I go through to clean up nails with lots of stray polish!

This is what we are striving for! Clean lines, no cuticle floods and no fly away polish!

First off, I always use a base coat, even when I don't mention I do in a post.
See my post about why HERE. 
I most often use 2 coats of polish, and then one coat of top coat.

Some of the things that I think are important to know about painting your nails:

1. GO TO THE BATHROOM, Turn on the TV, feed your cat, put your hair up, BEFORE YOU START!
2. Always paint your nails on a dry, flat and level surface. Sitting on the floor, painting with your hands on your knees, isn't going to help you achieve neat nails.
 3. Wipe any excess polish off of the brush before you start painting each nail. You don't want to put a huge glob of polish on to your nails because that is when it can get messy!
I do one full swipe against the bottle on one side of the brush and half a swipe on the other side leaving just a pea sized amount on the end.
4. Dipping your brush back into the bottle of polish after EACH nail helps keep the polish fluid and flowing and keeps it from getting sticky and hard to paint. 
It is important to remember, that sometimes the brush or the formula of
 that particular polish just might be pretty sucky, causing polish to get everywhere.

I will eventually do a post about cuticle care, but I want to show you just a snippet of what I do to prep my nails.

These wooden cuticle sticks are my best friends, even though I lose them and leave them everywhere. 
Thank goodness they are only $1.09 at Target! 
I start by pushing my cuticles back away from my nails:

To work against flooding my cuticles with excessive polish, I try to stay about this far away from my cuticle line:

Pretend there is an imaginary line preventing you from backing your polish all the way up against your cuticle. We are avoiding THIS:


So now what?!
When this happens, which is does, I grab my best friend and 
use the flat end to wipe away the excess polish:

Firmly push the cuticle stick along the edge of your nail, effectively wiping up the extra polish. Some polishes can be watery...repeat this step until the polish stops flooding!
(Tip: A toothpick can be used for this step!)

Use the cuticle stick to clean up excess polish in the cuticle line, 
straightening out the base line as you go.
(TIP: Wipe the stick on a napkin or towel after each swipe to clean it off.)

Pretty close to be being perfect!

When you add your second coat try to follow the line you have outlined for yourself at the base.

 There will be some extra polish hanging around like in the picture above but that is SO easy to remove! You might read that some ladies like to use a paint brush dipped in acetone to clean up around their nails. 
I don't do this very often. 
I like to use the shower method!
The Shower Method you ask?
Wait until your nails are dry, overnight or at least a TV Show or two, then hop in the shower! After you shampoo and condition your hair (this is going to get a bit of the polish off), gently scrub or rub around your nails to remove the excess polish. 
However, if you were in a polish and go mood, 
a Q-Tip dipped in remover can help remove the excess polish!

Right Hand First Tips:
My sister and my mom like to paint their right hand first, and then paint the left. I never got into the habit of doing this, but it helps them a lot! My sis feels that if she paints her right hand first it is easier and she doesn't worry so much about struggling to paint her right while not messing up the nails she just did on her left!
Makes sense!
I wish I had more tips for painting your right hand, but it just takes practice! GO SLOW!
There is a reason I only show you my left hand online :)
Another quick tip I want to share is combating 

If you are like me, you most often polish at the end of the day, seemingly, right before you are ready to hop into bed. Maybe you are already even in bed!
 I try so hard to sit still and wait so I don't smudge any of them, 
and sheet imprints make me so mad in the morning!

So here's the trick! 
Save the clear top coat until the morning! 
Any sheet imprints you have will disappear with one quick coat and then you're ready to go.

Hope this helped and I didn't lose you half way through!
Happy Tuesday!

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