Do you always go to a nail salon to have your nails done? Here are 9 Beauty Hacks and Tips for Perfect Nails so you can do your own manicure in the comfort of your own home.
By the time you finish reading this post, I bet you’ll want to try them as soon as you can. 🙂 I’ve also included some tips on what to do with your nail polishes that have thickened up.
Most of us have a lot of nail polishes in our collection, and there are times when we’ve only worn a nail polish for a day or two but then want to wear a different shade. So, these tips will help us to have that perfect manicure everytime, without ruining our nails or even our skin around them.
9 BEAUTY HACKS AND TIPS FOR PERFECT NAILS
WATER AND WHITE VINEGAR SOLUTION
I know this sounds weird, but this tip really works. Before applying any nail polish, soak your nails in a water and white vinegar solution. The white vinegar will remove any residue left over by a nail polish remover. These moisturizers or oils left by the remover often messes up nail polish application, so stripping the nails of these products will prevent bubbles.
Another plus is that this helps the nail polish to stick to the nails better, and helps it be more long lasting. Another way of doing this tip is to just dampen a paper towel with some white vinegar and wipe it on the nails.
There are a lot of white vinegars sold in the market, and the one that I’m using is Heinz Distilled White Vinegar.
NOTE: Just remember to wash your hands again afterwards if you don’t want your hands to reek of vinegar. 😀
Petroleum Jelly has so many uses, and one is for the nails. Instead of buying expensive nail creams, oils, and such, you can use Petroleum Jelly like Vaseline on your nails to sort of condition it. You can also use it on your cuticles to prevent mistakes in nail polish application. Just make sure not to get any Petroleum Jelly on your nails because it will prevent the nail polish from adhering to the nails.
You can also use any thick cream or lotion. Put some of it on a cotton tip and apply around your nails. Remember not to get any of the cream or lotion on your nail itself because the nail polish will not stick wherever there’s a lotion or cream. You can use a cuticle stick or another clean cotton tip to wipe away any mistakes.
Apply your nail polish as you normally would and let it dry. Afterwards, you can just wipe the lotion off or massage it into your cuticles to moisturize it.
USE A RUBBERIZED BASE COAT LIKE ORLY BONDER
Professional manicurists recommend using a rubberized base coat like Orly Bonder. It helps the nail polish to adhere better and also helps make the nail polish last longer. The unique rubberized formula grips lacquer to the nail surface for lasting adhesion for up to two weeks.
There’s also a beauty hack whereas you apply Elmer’s Glue as a base coat instead so you can easily peel it off when it’s time to remove the nail polish.
If you’re not comfortable using Elmer’s Glue on your nails, Orly has another product that you can use as a base coat for those hard-to-remove glitter nail polishes. Orly One Night Stand Peel-Off Basecoat adheres to the nails for 1 to 2 days and easily peels off for a non-damaging removal.
PERFECT APPLICATION TIPS
For that perfect nail polish application, do not apply the nail polishes in one go using a thick coat. Instead, apply them in thin coats and just repeat as necessary. I notice that when I apply a thick coat of nail polishes, it tends to smudge easily. This is because only the top layer dries. You might think that your nail polish is already dry, but once you wash your hands or go about your day, it will most definitely smudge and the entire look messed up.
Another thing to remember is that when you apply a top coat, try to run the brush along the top edge of the nail surface. Just along the nails and not on the cuticles. This will help seal the raw edges of the polish and will prevent chipping.
Above is my basic application tips for the perfect manicure. But here is a more detailed one:
1. Always start with a clean base. Make sure that the nail surface is free from any oils or residue from nail polish remover.
2. To make your nail polish last longer and to prevent it from staining or chipping, always apply a good base coat like Orly Bonder. Or, you can also use a ridge filler like the OPI Ridge Filler. Remember to let it dry before you apply the actual nail polish.
3. Once the base coat is completely dry, start painting your nails with a thin layer of polish at the center of the nail, a little bit above the cuticle.
4. Push it gently towards the cuticle but leave a small gap.
5. Then run the brush along the length of the nail towards the end. You’ll now have the middle part of the nail covered with nail polish.
6. For the left side of the nail, start again at the base of the nail and swipe the polish along the left curve until the whole side is covered. Repeat this on the other side of the nail.
7. Apply a second and third coat (if you wish).
8. Apply a good top coat like Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat for more protection and longevity of the nail polish. Most top coats add shine, making your nails look more fabulous and glamorous. However, there are also matte top coats like OPI Matte Top Coat.
USE ICE WATER TO DRY
What? How can ice water help in drying the nail polish quicker? Well, it really does! You can use ice water to dry your nails in less than 5 minutes. If you don’t like using a blow dryer to fast dry your nail polish in between coats, then, you might want to use this technique which uses ice water instead.
Let your nails dry for about 2 to 3 minutes then dunk in a bowl of ice water for around 15 seconds. Remove from the water and air dry again for around 2 minutes. This will help harden your nails and prevent smudging.
NO AIR, NO AIR
Are you living in a tropical country? Or any other place where the air is almost always humid? If that’s the case, then you might want to wait extra long for your nail polish to dry. Humidity can mess up a manicure, it causes bubbles to form on your nails if you’re not too careful.
So if it’s currently humid in your city, make sure to wait for your nail polish to completely dry before doing anything that might mess up your nails.
Another thing to remember is to keep away from drafty air, like the air blown from a fan. It won’t help dry your nail polish faster, but it will only cause bubbles and potentially ruin your manicure.
LICK IT TO FIX IT
Did you know that you can fix a smudged nail polish by licking it? The saliva reacts with the nail polish and helps to soften it so it will be easier to blend and even out. My friend who’s a makeup artist taught me this trick. She said that instead of having to remove a smudged nail polish and starting over again, all I need to do is lick it and it will be fixed.
This usually happens to me when I think that my nails are already dry, so I go back to doing stuff and then I accidentally smudge them. While it’s still wet, my friend said that I can still fix it by licking my finger and gently smoothing out the smudged nail polish.
She said that I can also use my tongue directly to smoothen out the smudge, but I’d rather lick my clean finger than have to lick the nail polish directly. Nail polishes are not edible, and I don’t know what effects it will have if I lick it directly. 😉
If you’re not comfortable with this trick, there’s a product called Orly Smudge Fixer which also works in repairing nail polish smudges.
EASILY REMOVE NAIL POLISHES
I found this great tip where you can remove your nail polish using very little nail polish remover and cotton balls. I usually use cotton pads in removing my nail polishes, and I end up using a lot of cotton pads and nail polish remover using the normal removal process. So this technique would really help save me a lot of money on these stuff.
For this method, though, cotton pads would not work. It has to be cotton balls. Because it will be unraveled into a cotton strip. You’re just undoing what the manufacturer did to form the cotton ball because they were originally strips that were just formed into a ball.
1. Deform 1 cotton ball into its original form of a strip.
2. Divide it into 2 strips. Or, if you prefer, you can use 1 cotton ball for each hand. Then, divide each strip into 5 nail-sized pieces. These should fit your nails, so you can measure them as you go.
3. You should also have 2 to 4 pieces for cleaning up bits and pieces of nail polish that are left on the nail surface.
4. Now you can pour some of your nail polish remover into its lid and then dip the cotton pieces one by one into the lid. (Some nail polish removers that are really affordable are OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover and Cutex Quick & Gentle Polish Remover, Non-Acetone.
5. You don’t need to dunk it all in as it doesn’t need to be drenched for it to work. Just dip the edge of the cotton into the remover that’s in the lid. By doing so, the entire cotton will also get wet.
6. For each cotton that you’ve dipped, press it gently on the nail surface. It should completely cover your entire nail. Do this for the rest of your fingers.
7. You can do one hand at a time, so your other hand is free to remove the cotton. Leave the wet cotton pieces on your nails for about 2 to 3 minutes, depending on which nail polish you’ve got on your nails.
8. Then, using a clean piece of cotton, press it over the wet cotton and wipe it away from the base of the nail to the tip with a bit of force. Repeat for each nail and also on the other hand.
NOTE: You can also wrap each nail with a piece of aluminum foil so that the remover will not evaporate.
REVIVE NAIL POLISHES WITH THINNER
What do you do with your nail polishes which have turned goopy and thick? Do you just throw them away? Did you know that you can revive and reuse them? But don’t use a nail polish remover to thin them. Acetone does work, but the thing is, it will eventually ruin the nail polish in the long run.
☆ If you have light skin, you can apply a thick hand cream before you remove any nail polish. This will prevent medium to dark nail polishes from staining your fingers and hands. Whenever I forget to do this, my skin around my fingers always get stained.
☆ If your nails get too yellow from using too much nail polish, you can apply lemon juice on them to remove some of the yellowing.
☆ Another tip to whiten your nails, especially after removing a dark nail polish is to soak the nails in a solution that contains hot water, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide for about 1 to 2 minutes.
☆ Or, if you don’t have hydrogen peroxide handy, you can always use a whitening toothpaste. Just put some of the toothpaste on an old toothbrush that you’re not using anymore and scrub away the stain from your nails.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to have perfect nails. Nor do you have to go to nail salons to have your manicure or pedicure done every week or so. With these 9 Beauty Hacks and Tips for Perfect Nails, you can save a lot of money. Have you tried any of these tricks?
Alyssa Melanie is a certified MUA – a Makeup Addict. While her favorite high-end brands are Chanel and Dior, she just can’t resist falling in love with a lot of drugstore brands too, like Revlon and NYX. Her motto: “When I feel good about myself, I feel beautiful. Putting on makeup and taking care of my skin, makes me feel oh-so-good.“