Today I had
nothing at all to do a few hours to kill so decided to paint my nails all fancy. Before I even start I must tell you I am very lazy, impatient and shaky when it comes to my nails. However, I do have some very easy and nifty tricks for even the clumsiest of hands to create a unique and neat looking manicure, one that only requires a very basic knowledge of nail polish painting. Read on, nail gamers!
Pre-steps: You can paint your nails perfectly but if your hands / cuticles are looking a hot mess, it really subtracts from the entire aesthetic. I always start a mani by soaking my hands or fingertips in warm, soapy water for a good 5 to 10 minutes, to soften the nail and the sometimes gnarly skin around it. After this, I will cut nails if necessary, and if not, apply a cuticle gel / oil (I think even baby or olive oil will work) in order to push my cuticles back and scrape off any skin gunk from the nail bed, creating a smooth surface for the polish to sit upon. After this, I slather on a thick cream, my trusty Windrift Hill Citrus Sun body butter, and voila… prepped and flawless looking hands!
Step 1: Apply a base coat if you have one. I just skipped this because I can’t find mine, and instead started by applying a thin layer of the deep, dark red polish on my nails. Here’s an important trick I’ve picked up: don’t worry about making a mess if your hands are shaky! As long as you’re coating a thin and relatively even layer of nail polish that covers the nail, then you’re doing perfectly. You can see from the picture above, I am a messy painter, but I don’t worry if it gets all around my finger (or my hands, or my desk…) since this is very easy to clean up later on. After the first coat, wait for 10 to 15 minutes and try to stay still to avoid smudging. Today, I listened/imitated Beyonce with my fingers front of a fan to keep myself from using my hands. Also, probably the “Single Ladies” hand move helped the drying time. 😉
Step 2: Apply a second thin coat. Easy, right?
Step 3: Okay, this is when the design part comes in. With your second color, you will create a triangle point design by starting your brush right above the center of your nail plate, and quickly sweeping it diagonally toward one upper corner to create a straight line. Then, you will go back to your starting point and paint another line by sweeping the polish toward the other corner. Once this triangle shape is outlined, just fill in any spaces that need the second color. The trick to create a crisp line is to move your brush as quickly as possible toward the edge; the faster you move, the less likely it is that your handle will wobble out of control. I admit, painting my right fingers with my left hand felt more foreign, but I still managed. Remember, speed is key here!