All too often I’ve had friends complain that when they paint their nails their efforts only seem to last a matter of days. Over the last couple of years I’ve been learning and refining some easy techniques to make manicures more durable. Here are my top tips:
When you paint your nails it is vital to apply the correct amount of varnish with each coat in order to ensure a longer lasting finish and mastering your brush technique can help do this.
Hold the varnish with two hands – one on the lid and one on the bottle. Then as you lift the brush out of the bottle tap it on the far rim and drag it towards you along the nearside rim. The tap removes excess polish and the drag makes the brush flat and wide which means you can apply the varnish to each nail in just three strokes without the need to re-load the brush with extra paint mid nail. The shorter the tap, the less varnish will be removed from the brush and therefore the thicker the coat will be. The coats should be as follows:
1. Base coat
It seems obvious to say it but so many of my friends miss this stage out. Their nails chip or break because they aren’t protected by a base coat. When applying the base it should take three swipes – one to the left, one to the right and one to the centre. Before moving on to the next nail apply a little stroke of the brush to the front ridge of the nail. The nail tip is the area that will most likely be chipped first and so applying varnish here holds off any premature damage.
2. Thin first coat of colour
This is more of a guideline and helps you to work out which areas on the canvas could get missed. For example, it’s easy to leave too much of the far side of your nails naked because you can’t see them as easily. With fairly transparent varnishes the first coat may come out slightly streaky or uneven but the thick second coat will solve this. Don’t forget to swipe the tip before moving on to the next nail.
3. Thicker second coat of colour
This evens out the coverage and ensures no areas are missed. It should still take only three strokes of the brush if you’ve mastered the amount of varnish, plus a swipe to the tip of the nail.
4. Nailart design
5. Top coat
This adds shine and hardens the colour and is the final key stage to making sure your manicure will last a week. Again, remember to swipe the tip of the nail with the brush. If you have opted for nailart rather than just block colour you will need to wait longer before applying the top coat and you will need a much thicker coat to avoid streaking or smudging your design. If your pattern is very intricate, you may like to dab the top coat on gently in thick applications rather than stroking it on to avoid ruining it.
There you have it! Enjoy your week-long manicure and come back soon for more tips.
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