Tips for Nailing a Perfect Manicure at Home

When I was a little girl, painting my own nails was a BIG mess. More nail polish ended up on my hands than on my nails. But over the years, I have perfected this craft, and now painting my nails is a welcomed activity to relax and unwind at the end of a long day.

Here are a my tips for nailing a perfect manicure at home:

  1. Not too much! It’s important to make sure your brush isn’t loaded with nail polish. It should not be dripping. I recommend dipping the brush in all the way and then gently wiping the excess nail polish off twice, once on each side of your brush.
  2. Three strokes, you’re out! Aim to do your first stroke on one end, your second stroke on the other end and your last stroke down the middle. This can take practice, but three strokes is really all you need for one coat. And, the more you apply, the messier and more uneven the nail polish will get on your nails.
  3. Stay away from your cuticles. Leave a little space between your cuticles and where the polish starts. The end product will look much better. If you do hit your cuticles with the nail brush then just take a free, dry finger and drag your nail along that cuticle to take away any excess polish.
  4. Q-tips are your BFF for mess-ups. When you are done painting your nails, dip a q-tip in nail polish remover and wipe it around your nails to remove any mess-ups. I also remove cotton from the q-tip and will use the harder end to get any extra nail polish from under my nails. 
  5. Practice, practice, practice. Nailing a perfect manicure takes practice, but I guarantee you that after a few tries it will be much easier for you to paint your nails (Of course, it’s also important to remember that complete perfection is unrealistic ;-)). 
  6. Patience & cold water. Make sure you wait at least 30 minutes for your nails to dry. Once they’re dry, wash them under cold water to help ensure the polish has set. I also recommend putting on a favorite TV show, so the time flies by.

Hopefully you find these tips helpful. The nail polish I’m wearing in the photos above is Revlon’s Fashionista shade, which I have been loving for this winter. If you missed it, I shared last week my favorite nail shades for this winter. From my experience, Revlon, OPI and Essie stay on my nails the longest and the product will last a long time on your shelf.

If you have additional tips or tricks for nailing the perfect manicure, I’d love to hear them.



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