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Painting your nails like a pro does take practice, but with our ten commandments, you’ll learn how to apply lacquer with your non-dominant hand, speed up the drying process, and properly care for your polished tips. We guarantee that you can nail any paint job (we can’t stop with the puns!) right after reading. Scroll down and get schooled.


1. Line your cuticles and sides of the nails using a cotton swab dipped in petroleum jelly before painting on polish. This will help you avoid getting the skin smeared by excess polish. 

2. Always use a basecoat prior to nail polish application because it helps your nail lacquer adhere to your digits. To seal in your paint job, a single sweep of topcoat will do the trick; it provides a barrier that protects your polish from chipping quickly.

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3. Use nail lacquers that are free from formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). This toxic trio threatens both reproductive and mental health, ups the risk of fetal abnormality, and increases the risk for cancer! ‘Nuff said. 

4. When painting with your non-dominant hand, place your dominant hand on a steady surface, and manoeuvre your dominant hand’s fingers instead of your non-dominant hand controlling the brush.  Doing so will assist your painting hand not to wobble, letting you achieve perfect, polished strokes. 

5. Three thin strokes are all you need to cover your nails with polish: One on the middle, then one on each side. Repeat the process if you want more color opacity. To make your nail lacquer pop or show its true color, coat your nails with a white nail polish first. This works especially for neon hues.

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6. A rapid air-blast from a fan won't help. You might think that sitting near a fan will help your manicured digits dry faster. The reality? It will only cause unsightly bubbles that ruin your polish. Make drying time extra speedy by dipping your painted digits in ice cold water.

7. Never shake your nail polish bottle because this will cause air bubbles to form, causing streaky application. Instead, roll the bottle between the palms of your hand to ensure the polish formula’s consistency. 

8. Use crafty preventive measures to never encounter hard-to-open bottles again. Have you ever struggled to open a bottle because the polish has dried up in the neck? Prevent this from happening by spreading petroleum jelly on that top part of the bottle. Already faced with this problem? Wrap a rubber band around the cap for a firmer grip. 

9. Preserve the quality of your lacquer by storing them inside your fridge. The cool temp will stop them from drying up and the formula from separating.

10. Remove polish in a jiffy with cotton balls and foil. To easily take off both regular and glitter polish, soak a cotton ball in polish remover, stick it on each nail, wrap each tip with aluminium foil, let it sit for a minute, and wipe the polish off your fingernail. 

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(Photo from Instagram.com @formulaxnails; @shopncla; Giphy.com; Youtube.com/cutepolishnails) 

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