Manicures seem easy to do, but many common mistakes prevent you from getting the perfect nails. We tapped Simcha Whitehill, a.k.a. Miss Pop, one of the top nail artists in the biz, to give us her insider advice on which specific polish tips to heed and which ones to avoid entirely.
10. Being in a rush
Make sure to take the time to apply your nail polish and a top coat properly, by leaving it to dry for at least 20 minutes. It is also best to let each layer dry before applying another coat. This will ensure that your nail polish looks smooth and lasts a long time.
9. Not washing your tools
Hygiene, especially when doing nails, is essential! Regularly washing your tools (clippers, files, buffers, etc.) with soap and water will prevent contamination and bacteria. Make sure to also disinfect them with antibacterial soap.
8. Using Q-tips
How often have you been using q-tips to clean up your mistakes? Q-tips are an easy way to fix them but they can cause more damage in the end, as the cotton can easily get caught in your nail polish. Instead, use a makeup brush for better precision.
7. Using acetone
Acetone is commonly used in nail polish remover and quick-dry products. It is best to avoid acetone as it can cause your nails to chip, peel, flake, and break. Quick-dry products seem like a great way to get your nail polish to dry faster, but they do not keep the condition of your nails healthy.
6. Not sealing with a top coat
As we mentioned with the base coat, a top coat will ensure the longevity of your nail polish. Top coats help to create a harder and more protective finish, plus this will help your nail polish to dry faster.
5. Improper nail polish application
If you are wondering why your nail polish is not lasting long enough or is chipping easily, it could be that you are not applying the polish properly. A common mistake is to apply thick coats of polish to get a deeper pigmentation. Nail polish doesn’t dry well when too much is applied, it is better to apply several thinner coats instead. The way you apply nail polish also plays a major role! Make sure to run the brush along the tip of the nail to seal your manicure. Nail polish shrinks as it dries, therefore doing this will lock the nail polish in place.
4. Not applying a base coat
Not applying a base coat before your polish is a big mistake as this will affect its longevity. A base coat has many advantages such as avoiding polish stains on your nails, improving the adhesion of the polish to your nails as well as smoothing the surface of your nails. Applying polish directly to your nails is advised against as it can damage them.
3. Neglecting cuticles
Avoid cutting or picking at your cuticles, as this can create infections and lead to irritated red skin. Also, there is nothing worse than uneven nail polish against the cuticle line. Make sure to push back your cuticles to level the skin and apply cuticle oil to nourish them. This will prevent dry and flaky skin around your nails.
2. Filing errors
With the nails being your canvas, you have to make sure that they are healthy, properly trimmed, and filed. When filing nails, make sure to only go in one direction, as filing back and forth can make your nails more fragile and can cause them to split. Filing your nails will also ensure that the shape of your nails are well-defined and that they look good.
1. Not preparing the nails
Preparing your nails is an essential first step before applying nail polish, as your hands come into contact with your hair, face, and many other things that will leave oil on your nails. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water first so the polish will stay on longer.