Hahaha tell the truth - you thought this post was going to be about masturbation, didn't you? Dirty birds.
Although I am generally known for being criminally reckless with my money, I do have a faint streak of frugality in me. There are some things in the world that I won’t pay a lot of money for – purses, scarves, meals – and some things I refuse to pay a dime for – tickets to an event, pens, and manicures. Don’t get me wrong – I love having someone else rub my hands down with smelly goodness and polish them for me – but it’s just too damn easy to do myself.
And since it is the mission of this blog and my life to impart the little bit of wisdom I have on all of you, today I am going to show you exactly how easy it is to do your nails at home so that they look awesome, last for a week, and you won’t even have to sit still for hours waiting for the shits to dry.
See, contrary to popular belief, the key to doing your nails perfectly is not skill or patience or a steady hand. All you really need are the right products and some instructions.
Don’t believe me? Let me school you.
Step 1: Start with clean dry nails
I’m not going to show you guys how to file your nails or clean up your cuticles. I know I have a tendency to be long-winded, but we just don’t have that kind of time. Get your situation in order and then lightly buff the surface of your nails to a)smooth out ridges and b)remove any oils. Oil on your nails (whether it’s lotion or your skin’s natural oils) will fuck your shit up. Because I love vinegar, I always rub my nails down with a bit of it on a cotton ball to make sure they’re dry, but you can use rubbing alcohol to do it also. I would veer against using nail polish remover for this step as it often contains conditioners to soften your skin, which amounts to oil.
Step 2: The Base Coat
The key to the perfect at home manicure is your base coat. And for this method, there are only two that I will recommend you use. You can’t just go out and use any random ass base coat for this, you need a rubberized one, and the best two I’ve ever used are CND Stickey and Orly Bonder. Put this on and give it a few minutes to dry. It will still feel tacky and not smooth like regular base coats, but that’s okay.
Step 4: Apply Your Polish
To properly apply polish, you want to start with a drop of polish at the bottom centre of your nail. With the brush, push the polish down toward your cuticle (but you have to leave a gap about 1/16 of an inch. Polishing all the way to the cuticle line is a dead giveaway of an amateur manicure), then move your brush upward in a straight line toward the tip of your nail.
Yeah that’s not such a good picture is it? You can’t really see. But you can read, so you get the idea.
Next go back to the base where your polish starts and swipe the polish along one side of your nail. Then do the same on the other side. Let it dry briefly before applying a second or third coat.
Free tip of the day (LOL isn’t this entire post a free tip of the day? Whatever): When you’re using light, sheer, creamy colours like white or Essie Ballet Slippers or the like, you will get waaaay less streaks if you let the surface dry completely before applying your next coat. Give it at least 5 or 10 minutes (I usually smoke a cigarette and that’s about enough time). If you try to apply another coat on top of a wet one you will get a streaky mess. Trust me.
Another tip to avoid streaks: try to hit your nail with the flat side of the polish brush rather than the tip. Think of it as holding the brush more parallel to the surface of your nail and less perpendicular. Going in with the tip (pause?) makes an indentation in the polish that, when you drag it up the nail, turns into a streak. Another dead giveaway of an amateur manicure.
Step 5. Get The Tip
The next secret tip to a great manicure is to cover the free edge of your nails with polish. If you have thin nails you can skip this step, but for average to thick nails you want to cover the tip. Not only does it reduce tip wear, it also makes sure that your nails look polished from every angle.
Step 6: The Stickey Sandwich
Now this is the tip that is going to make you want to jump up and slap your mama. After you’ve applied your polish to your satisfaction, you apply another coat of your base coat on top of it. I don’t know why this works and I don’t care, but this is what will make your polish last all week long. It only works with the rubberized ones, so don’t cheap out and buy something else. Unless you enjoy doing your nails multiple times a week.
Step 7: Dry Fast
No matter how awesome my manicure tips have been so far, they don’t mean shit if you have to wait five thousand hours for your shit to dry. Or worse, having to find creative ways to wipe your ass with wet nails (because we all know that the minute you finish your nails you will have to use the toilet). But fret not, I have a solution for you: the quick dry top coat. But not just any quick dry top coat, it must be Seche Vite.
Wait – let me say that again because I don’t think you heard me. It MUST be Seche Vite. I don’t know or care if anything else will work, don’t even try. Just get Seche Vite. Apply a coat of it over your completed polish, wait a minute or two, and then move on with your life. Provided you don’t gouge your polish with something sharp, chances are very good that no matter what you do after applying Seche Vite, your shit will not get fucked up. I always polish my nails right before I go to bed, slaps some SV on those bitches, and go the fuck to sleep. I never get a smudge and I don’t sleep carefully. The shit is miraculous man, I don’t know what to tell you.
And there you have it – my tips for the perfect at-home manicure. Do you love me for schooling you or did you know all this shit already? Do you have any tips that I missed? Have a girl moment with me in the comments.