The hack to applying nail polish like a pro

You'll never have chips or smudges again!

Nail polish is a fickle friend. Sure, it looks fabulous, but it takes just one bump against a table for a chip to ruin our hard work. And although we wait a respectable time for our nails to dry, we are seldom immune from being thwarted by a sneaky smudge. (And let’s face it – going in for a mani-pedi all the time can get a bit much).

Well, we’ve got you covered. We ask a pro to share their tips on the the applying nailpolish properly, and, the one thing you need to ensure it stays intact.

How to apply nail polish correctly

Firstly, gather your tools. “Have everything laid out on a paper towel in front of you on a hard, flat surface,” says Patricia Amadio, a qualified beauty therapist and nail technician.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Paper towel.
  • Nail file.
  • Buffer.
  • Isopropyl alcohol wipes or nail polish remover.
  • Base coat.
  • Nail polish.
  • Top Coat.

Hands of a white man, a white woman and a black woman reaching up into the air shot on yellow background.

Here are the steps:

  • Step 1: Wash your hands and nails thoroughly.  
  • Step 2: File your nails to your desired shape.
  • Step 3: Gently buff the top of your nail with a buffer to remove the “shine”. 
  • Step 4: Clean your nails with an isopropyl alcohol wipe or with nail polish remover on a cotton pad – this removes any natural oils.
  • Step 5: Apply a base coat. This helps protect your nail from staining and creates a smooth base layer. 
  • Step 6: Apply two thin coats of your chosen polish. You only need to wait a minute or two in between each coat.
  • Step 7: Apply one layer of top coat for protection and shine. 

And the pro hack you will never look back from? “Paint each coat of polish from the base of your nail to the tip and then take the brush and gently paint along the edge/tip of each nail,” says Patricia. “This will ‘seal the edge’ and also help to prevent any chipping.”

A black woman with long, slender fingers, paints her nails a shade of brown.

How do I stop my nail polish from chipping or smudging? 

Two words – Rubber gloves.

“Not only do they protect your hands and help keep your skin soft, they also protect your nails,” says Patricia. “Water and cleaning products strip our hands and nails of natural oils and many of our household sponges and cleaning agents will cause polish to chip quite easily.” 

Ready to put our hacks to the test? Try these nail polishes

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