Monday, 4 August 2014

Perfectly Polished

If you know anything about me, you know I love nail polish; I believe that no outfit is complete without a splash of colour on my nails. So today I'm going to share with you my top tips for getting the perfect at-home manicure...

1 | Wipe your nails clean with remover prior to polishing
It's so tempting to apply hand cream to your hands after removing your previous nail polish but you must fight the urge. Our nails are porous so grab moisture extremely easily; ever had your nail polish come off in one nail-shaped chunk? That's probably because your nail had moisture/oil on it when you applied the nail polish (don't worry, it happens to the best of us). If you cannot fight the urge, after applying your hand lotion, take a Q-tip soaked in varnish remover and wipe it thoroughly over each nail.

Before starting a manicure, I always run a varnish-remover-soaked cotton pad over my nails, even if I have nothing on them, because even the natural oils that your hands have (and apparently I have a lot of it #gross) can hamper your manicure!

2 | Don't file your nail back and forth
Filing back and forth causes more tears to your nail than it fixes. Although the issues seems fixed to the naked eye, you're only causing yourself future frustration - your nails, and any manicure, will soon suffer from broken edges and splitting tips. So, stick to filing in one direction to ensure your nails split less and your manicure stays chip-free for longer.

3 | Roll the bottle upside down in between your hands
Not many people know this, but when your nail polish has been left on your shelf/in a draw/in a make-up bag (delete as appropriate) the formula can separate. Don't throw it away; it's still good, it just needs a little TLC before you use it again. Before you begin any manicure, always roll the bottle between your hands to mix the polish up - you don't need to be vigorous, just let that little silver ball in the bottle do its job. Don't shake the bottle though, as it can cause bubbles and bubbles in your nail polish are not your friend!

4 | Apply a base coat and a top coat with every polish
Base coat and top coat are the two most important parts of any manicure. The base coat will protect your nails from staining (you can also get base coats that strengthen/nourish the nail), while the top coat seals in your polish, leaving it shiny for days. I have read that professionals recommend topping up your top coat on a daily basis, but I've never got time for that and my manicures can last up to a week before the first chips, depending on what I've been doing. I highly recommend this base coat and this top coat.

5 | Don't apply thick layers of lacquer
You might only have a small window of time to paint your nails, but trust me, do not make the mistake of painting on thick layers. Thick layers mean longer drying time, and if painted at night, you'll wake up with lovely bed sheet marks all over your beautifully painted nails. Have a little patience and paint two thin layers of lacquer on your nails. You should always allow one-hour's drying time from finishing your top coat; your nails will be touch dry after 20 minutes but the lower layers won't be, so to avoid those annoying marks give it at least an hour before doing anything! Click here to see the best and most professional way to paint your nails, but always make sure you paint right to the end and over your nail tips to avoid chips. 

Top Tip: keep your manicured nails out of really hot water (ie washing up water) because it will RUIN your nails. Wear rubber gloves and add a little cold into the water - better yet, get your husband to do the dishes!

If you love nail polish like I do, follow my Nails board on Pinterest :)
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  1. I didn't know any of this! No wonder my nail polish always looks like crap. I blamed surfing, but considering I've never done any of this, I might be the one to blame. I'd love to find a polish that isn't so toxic, though. Do you know of any good non-toxic type brands that actually work?

    1. I'm so glad I could share some of my wisdom with you :) I haven't tried any non-toxic polishes myself, but I have heard that Suncoat, Honeybee Gardens and NARS are all good. If you do find a brand that works, please let me know xx