For those of you who do DIY manicures boy do I have a doozy to share. *Backstory – I had falsies for the last little while and eventually got tired of going in for fills, bored of having the same color for more than a few days, and annoyed at the cost (more funds for clothes I say) so I decided to remove them and go back to the basics. I now have shorter nails with a kind of square/oval shape and I find that for me, polish colors look cleaner, brighter and cuter than with the talon style that’s popular right now…to each their own though, but if you’re like me, you love switching up the colors whether you have long, short, rounded, oval or pointed nails. Now getting to the nitty gritty – I have a significant amount of time on my hands but I’d rather spend it lounging than lounging and drying my nails. Again, first world problems, diva problems, bratty problems, the list goes on. Aside from all that, if you’ve ever found yourself in the same dilemma as I – sufficient drying time yet somehow you manage to get a nick, a chip or a smudge (or my personal favorite – those pre bedtime Sunday night manicures that end up with pillow marks in the AM), then my fellow sufferer, I hope you benefit from this post and end up with an immaculate and salon comparable mani.
- Use ice water to dry your nails in less than 3 minutes. (Air dry and then dip).
- Make your own dotting tool. Take a pencil with an eraser nub, stick in a pin and dip it into the color of choice. Voila.
- Spray nails with an oil cooking spray to avoid smudges and set the color.
- When using a top coat, in order to prevent fading, apply it to the top edge as well.
- After removing your polish, or if you’re choosing to go au naturel, dip your nails in a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and hot water for a minute or so to get a pearly white finish.
- To erase coloring out of the lines, dip a tiny brush (I find small concealer brushes, or eye liner brushes work the best) in nail polish remover and erase away.
- When using glitter polishes, dab on the first coat, don’t brush it. The color ends up more vibrant and you need fewer coats this way. Also you can pick where the glitter falls instead of getting clumps all over the place.
- Use Aquaphor or Vaseline around the nail to prevent smudging.
- If you’re a tip kind of girl, use clear bandaids to get an even line.
- Here’s a really whammy – use nail polish thinner to revive clumpy and goopy bottles of nail polish.
- Smudge Proof – Lick it. Not kidding. To fix a nick or smudge either lick your finger and gently smooth it out. OR you can actually use your tongue. Just don’t end up eating it. Calories and all…
- Soak nails in a mixture of white vinegar and warm water to get rid of any oils or moisturizer left over from what you had on before. It prevents bubbles and makes the manicure last longer.
- Try a rubberized base coat to make the mani last longer. Orly Bonder is popular with manicurists. Approx $8 at drugstores.
- If you’re applying nail polish in really humid temps wait longer for it to dry. This may help with preventing bubbling and uneven color.
- And lastly – contrary to popular belief and nail techs everywhere, DON’T use a fan to dry your nails. You’ll be cold as sh*t and your manicure will end up uneven with bubbles.
There you have it. Now give yourself a mani at home and spend the money you’re saving from those salon visits on a pair of shoes instead.
DIY Styles and colors I’m loving at the moment…
The top one is Fiji by Essie and I’ve probably worn it for half the summer. It’s classic, dainty and perfect for everyday, every outfit wear. Highly recommend.