1. Research well
If you’re thinking about trying some nailart have a good hunt around Pinterest, Instagram and nailart blogs for ideas and then work out what you feel like doing. This might be affected by an event you have coming up or what nail varnish colours you have available.
When you’ve chosen your design think through what order the various components need to be applied in and plan it all in your head first. Bear in mind that it is often safer to use lighter colours as the background and then to put darker colours on top, otherwise you risk dark sections showing through.
2. Have a practice
If I am trying something new I always have a practice run on a scrap piece of paper first. This is great if you are using nailart pens too because you can never be too sure how thick or fast the varnish will come out of the nib.
3. Easy cuticle perfection
If you need to remove old nail varnish before starting then kill two birds with one stone and push your cuticles down with the cotton pad as you go. Here are more tips on how to achieve beautiful cuticles.
4. Check your toes
It’s so annoying when you finish painting your finger nails and realise you can’t take off the varnish on your toe nails for a week without risk of losing some of the varnish on your hands. Before painting your finger nails, always check your toes first. (Obviously gloves can be worn while removing toe nail polish to avoid ruining your fingers.)
5. Go to the loo
There’s nothing worse than spending an hour painting your nails only to realise when you finish that you need the loo and can’t undo your zip or pull down your tights without ruining your beautiful work! Remember to go before you start.
6. Have an activity planned
It’s good to have something planned for the hour or so that you will be out of action while your nails dry. Have a magazine at the ready for when you finish or have your laptop set up with a good movie. Typing on your phone or checking social media can be a good option too if you can master how to do it without knocking your nails against one another.
Personally I like to get completely ready for bed and paint my nails last thing at night so the only thing I need to do afterwards is switch off my bedside light. Then I place my hands over my duvet on my chest as though I’ve been mummified and fall asleep. I know not everyone sleeps still so if you’re a wriggler this method isn’t advised!
7. Test your nails
Often people will test to see if their nails have dried by touching them with the skin part of their fingers or on their lips but doing this won’t give you an accurate result and in reality you probably have another 20 minutes or so to wait until they are completely dry. The best way to test them is to touch nail to nail, very carefully. You’ll easily be able to tell if they are tacky and still risk being dented or smudged.
For more tips see Introduction to Nailart.