Welcome back to the Nail Series! In Part 1
we discussed how to prepare our nails for polishing.Now that your nails are trimmed, ﬁled and buffed, you are ready to move on to the fun part – the polish! Just like with your makeup, a good nail colour starts with a good base. A base coat works to protect your nail from the dyes and pigments in the nail polish as well as helps to preserve the colour for longer. There are hundreds of base coats out there, depending on what you want (simple base coat, ridge ﬁller, whitening, strengthening, etc).
Essie ‘s All In One Base will run you about $10 at a drug store. Other brands like Sally Hansen and Revlon tend to be around $5-7. What I look for in a “good” base coat is one that grips the overlaying nail colour so that it lasts longer. I personally like to use Seche Clear (about $10 at nailpolishcanada.com) – it goes on nice and thick and gives my nail polish a nice, long lasting property.
Apply 1-2 coats of your base coat and wait for it to (mostly) dry. It doesnʼt have to be completely dry, but the longer you wait, the better for the colour coat.
Next apply the colour coat. I know what you might thinking — but my hand isnʼt steady, and it never comes out right….
1) Donʼt worry if you get nail polish on your skin. One shower and it will be gone. And if it really bugs you, just take a Q-tip and apply some nail polish remover to the areas that you need cleaned up.
2) The key to this step is to go slow. make sure that you wipe the nail polish brush off enough that its not dripping with colour but that you have enough to get one coat on your nails. If you are right handed, painting your right hand will be challenging at ﬁrst, but donʼt worry! you will get used to it. And again, if you get nail polish on your fingers, it comes off so fast.
Donʼt be afraid to apply more than 2 coats to your nails! Depending on if you have a light hand or a heavy hand when applying your polish (just like people have a light / heavy hand when applying blush), you may need more than 2 coats to get the desired colour. If you are using a thick and creamy nail colour (which is very trendy right now), you will deﬁnitely need at least 3 coats to get that “salon” look.
*TIP: Do not apply nail polish near a fan or outside when theres a breeze. Nail polish coagulates very quickly and if there’s even a slight breeze, youʼll end up with a thick, goopy mess!
Ok, now hereʼs my secret weapon: Once youʼve applied your 3 coats of colour, wait about 3-4 minutes (thats really all you need) till the polish has settled and is beginning to dry. Then apply this top coat:
Seche Vite literally means “dry fast” in French. This is by far the best top coat Iʼve ever used (costs about $11 at nailpolishcanada.com). Your nails will dry in 5 minutes with this stuff, and it goes on thick so it gives that perfectly ﬁnished, shiny, fresh-from-a-mani look at home. Its the perfect ﬁnish to all of your hard work and a necessary step to preserve your nail polish for longer.
Iʼm a bit obsessed with nail polish so I change my nail colour every 3-4 days, but this combination of steps should make your mani last at least 2 weeks.
Stay tuned for Part 3 where we will discuss the latest trends in nail colour!