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How To Paint Your Nails Perfectly

by Lyndon Langley
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How To Paint Your Nails Perfectly

How To Paint Your Nails Perfectly

If you’re looking for a way to make your nails stand out, painting them is the best option. But how do you know what color and style will look good? What’s the secret of making every nail perfectly painted? Here are some tips that’ll get you started in achieving flawless painted fingernails.
The first step is to cut your nails straight across. If they’re rounded or have any other irregular shape, then it’s best to use a file to smooth their edges before applying paint. You should also trim off all excess skin at the base of each nail. This will help ensure that there isn’t too much nail showing when you apply the paint.
Next, clean each nail thoroughly using an acetone-based soap such as “Oxi Clear.” (This won’t remove any existing coatings.) Then wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and dry them carefully so that the cuticles don’t curl under. Next, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly over your nails. The extra protection this provides helps prevent smears from appearing during application.
Now for the fun part — choosing colors! There are lots of different ways to achieve perfect painted nails, but here are four basic rules. First, choose two complementary colors. When applied together, these colors create a third shade, which is usually somewhere between the two original shades. For example, if one of your nails is red, then the other should be white. Second, choose colors that complement the natural pigments in your skin tone. Third, avoid clashing colors by selecting neutral tones instead of bright ones. Finally, stick to neutrals with no strong patterns or shapes. These will help keep your overall appearance simple and uncluttered.
Here are some helpful hints on coloring your nails.
Use a sponge brush to apply the paint. It allows for better control than a standard brush, especially when working with darker colors.

For even coverage, try lining up your fingers with colored pencils placed parallel to each other. Apply the paint along the lines.

To cover the entire nail, start at the center of the nail, and work outward toward the tip.

Apply only enough paint to reach the cuticles. Too much paint means more chances for streaks.

Don’t worry about applying the same amount of paint evenly. Instead, focus on getting a smooth finish.

When painting your thumbnail, apply just enough paint to fill the space without going past the edge.

After you’ve finished painting your nails, wait until the next day to let them completely cure. A thick clear topcoat will seal the paint into your nails’ outer layers. By letting the nails sit overnight, you’ll give yourself time to check your work. And remember, never touch your freshly painted nails while they’re wet!
Now comes the tough part: actually painting those nails. Most people think the easiest way to do this is to simply dip their finger(s) into the paint and swipe it onto the nail. Not so fast. You’re missing half the fun because you’re not paying attention to detail.
There are several things to consider when painting your nails:
You need to concentrate on keeping the paint even throughout the length of the nail.

Avoid splashes by holding your brush correctly. Hold it at a 45-degree angle; point the bristles away from you.

Move your hand slowly across the surface of the nail. Keep your wrist steady and don’t jerk the brush back and forth.

Keep your brush strokes neat and consistent.

Start at the middle of the nail and move outward, covering both sides equally.

It’s important to pay attention to details like the texture of the nail and the pattern of ridges on your nails.

Remember: You may want to try painting your nails again later after a manicure because mistakes happen. So take a picture of your nails once you’re done.
And now we come to the question of whether to use regular old polish or something more exotic. While many women prefer the shine of gel or cream polishes, others find that traditional acrylics offer greater durability. Acrylic paints tend to last longer and require fewer coats, plus they provide good adhesion to multiple surfaces. They’re easy to apply and blend well with other colors. However, acrylic paints aren’t always as durable as other types, and they may chip easily. Also, they can stain fabrics and leave behind residue. Gel polishes are less likely to chip and flake, but they dry quickly and often have limited selection. Cream polishes are extremely shiny, but they may lack durability.
Regardless of which type you choose, follow these general guidelines:
Try to match the consistency of the paint to the color. Matte or satin finishes call for thicker paint. Glittery, metallic polishes need very thin coats.

Paint dark colors lightly so that they don’t end up being overwhelmed by heavy applications.

Be careful not to smudge or drag the paintbrush around underneath the cuticle area. This could lead to unsightly streaking.

Many experts recommend removing your ring finger when painting. This prevents the brush from accidentally picking up dirt and oils from your palm.

Clean brushes frequently and replace them with new ones. Old brushes can spread bacteria, mold, and viruses.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of painting your nails, you might want to explore other techniques. Let’s say you enjoy painting your nails in a bold fashion. Try adding decorative designs to your nails with nail art pens. Or why not go crazy and add rhinestones, sequins, beads, and more? Just be sure to wear gloves when doing any kind of nail decoration. Gloves protect your sensitive fingertips and keep loose glitter from flying everywhere!
So there you have it — our ultimate guide to having beautiful painted nails! Now put it to the test and see what happens when you follow our steps. We guarantee you’ll love the results.
Nail Tips From Professionals

A big part of having great-looking nails involves taking proper care of them. Many salons and spas have professional stylists who can advise you on products and procedures to enhance your nails. Here are some expert suggestions:
Tip 1: Use the right tools
Good tools are essential to creating polished nails. A quality buffer brush has wide, soft teeth that are ideal for smoothing, blending, and filling in larger areas. Buffing tools with hard plastic heads produce fine, uniform strokes that are perfect for detailed nail painting. Make sure you purchase high-quality buffers and files — the difference really does matter. Look for tools made from synthetic materials rather than animal hair. Avoid anything with natural bristle fibers.
Tip 2: Know your tools
Buffing tools are designed to create specific textures. Each tool has its own unique shape and size. Some are small and round, while others resemble pliers. Choose a brush based on the effect you’re trying to achieve. A smaller brush works best for delicate details, while large brushes allow you to create wider strokes.
Tip 3: Be patient
Sometimes it takes more than one pass to achieve perfection. Patience is key. Take breaks between coats of polish to rest your hand and soak your nails in cold water. This gives the polish time to set properly.
Tip 4: Get creative
Have fun with your nails. Consider mixing colors, experimenting with textures, and playing with patterns.
Tip 5: Go glamourous
Glamorous nails can be achieved through a variety of methods. One popular technique is called French manicures. In this classic design, three separate colors are used: pink, white, and black. Another method is to accentuate certain features of your nails. For instance, you can paint your nails green and outline the bottom section with white.
Tip 6: Experiment
Experimentation is the key to finding your personal style. Try combining colors and textures to discover combinations you’d otherwise never think of.
Tip 7: Protect your nails
Protecting your nails from damage and chipping requires frequent upkeep. Wear cotton gloves when gardening or washing dishes. Use a moisturizer containing UV absorbers and lipids to guard against sun damage.
Tip 8: Know your nails
Each nail develops differently, so learn about yours. Are they long, short, square, oval, or rounded? Do they curve upward or downward? Do they grow faster on your left side or right side? Knowing about your nails can help you figure out how to decorate them.
Tip 9: Save money
Instead of buying pricey specialty supplies, stock up on items such as nonstick pads, toothpicks, and tissue paper. Using store-bought supplies makes your project easier and cheaper.
Tip 10: Know your options
Decorative nails are available in various forms: french manicure, tips, wraps, and studs. Decorating your nails can be as complicated or as simple as you wish.
Tip 11: Follow the rule of threes
With most nail decorations, you typically have to repeat the design three times to achieve maximum impact. When repeating designs, be mindful of where you place each accent.

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