Nail polish decorates your fingertips, accents various articles of clothing and strengthens your nails. Ideally, you want the polish to remain smooth and chip-free for as long as possible. A good polish job is easily to get at a salon, but it is far more cost-effective to do it yourself at home. According to Leigh Toselli, author of Pro Nail Care, by following a few simple tips, you can have professional quality polished nails from home.
Prime Your Nails
Remove old nail polish and any skin oils that have built up on the nails before painting them. This will create a clean and oil-free surface to which the nail polish can adhere. Use a cotton ball dipped in nail polish remover to clean your nails and ready them for new polish. Then thoroughly wash your nails with soap and water to remove the residue.
Use a Base Coat
Use a calcium-gel base coat before applying the nail polish. A base coat is a dull-colored paint that dries quickly, leaving a slightly sticky surface. The calcium in the base coat gel will strengthen and fortify your nails so they do not chip or crack as easily. If you use a separate nail strengthener, a non-calcium base coat will work just fine.
Pick a Quality Polish
Choose a quick-drying nail polish made by a reputable manufacturer. The color you pick should accentuate your general style. For example, if you commonly wear dark clothing, pick a bright color that matches the color of your accessories. Quality nail polish is available from most drugstores and beauty supply stores.
Apply Thin Layers
Paint on two or three thin coats of polish, allowing each to dry before applying the next layer. While it might seem faster to apply one thick coat, it’s not wise — it will take longer for your manicure to dry and it will be prone to chipping.
Use a Quick-Dry Product
Use a quick-dry nail coating, whether you use quick-drying nail polish or not. Quick-dry products are spray or paint-on oils that protect the surface of your nails from minor damage until the polish is thoroughly dry. They are available anywhere you find quality nail polish.
Steady Your Hand
Steady your hand as you paint by working on a hard surface and using your pinkie as an anchor. Hold the nail polish brush between your thumb and forefinger and rest your pinkie on a solid surface, such as the table, your knee or the hand being painted. This will allow you to keep an even brushstroke.