One of the easiest ways to add a splash of colour and excitement to your appearance is by using nail enamel, but what if you’re running low on your favourite shade? Not to worry! These tips on how to use nail varnish will help you use up every last drop of your favourite nail polish in a way that’s both functional and decorative.
1) Use Cornstarch
Apply a coat of nail polish, let it dry, and then apply another coat. Next, dust some cornstarch on a flat surface and dip your nails in. Roll them around until they’re completely covered and gently shake off any excess powder. Repeat with all of your nails (I recommend two coats) and you’ll have an instant manicure that lasts for days. You may need to wait for the first layer to dry before adding a second; just try to avoid touching or bumping your nails against anything too much during that time. I find that using a toothpick in between layers can help get rid of most air bubbles; just be careful not to damage your freshly painted tips!
2) Apply Base Coat Correctly
Don’t skip the base coat when painting your nails. A layer of base coat will help protect your natural nail and keep polish from damaging it. It can also reduce staining on your nails, making them appear more clean and polished. After you apply a single coat of base coat, let it dry completely before adding a top coat of polish to keep everything in place. For best results, make sure that your nails are completely dry before applying polish. Moisture can cause peeling or chipping of both coats later on down the road. Be patient! Letting each coat dry thoroughly is crucial for long-lasting manicures and pedicures. If you have time, try doing something else while waiting for your coats to dry; otherwise, just sit back and relax while they do their thing!
3) Pick the Right Top Coat
It’s easy to think of nail polish as a one-step process: apply, dry, done. But a good topcoat is crucial for making your manicure last (and looking nice). Use only fast-drying topcoats because slower drying ones will make your nail polish chip much more quickly. Also, make sure you’re applying it properly. Apply two thin coats over your nails and then let them dry completely before applying the second layer of clear polish over them—this step is crucial to avoid bubbles and peeling. Last but not least, stop yourself from picking at chipped polish!
4) Freeze your polishes to remove bubbles
So your nail polish is a little too bubbly for your liking. Put it in a cup of water and let it sit for about 15 minutes, then pop it in the freezer for about 20. As soon as you can handle it, gently press down on each bubble until they disappear. Voilà! Bubbly-free polish. You can also use these hacks to remove stubborn stickers from glass bottles and chips from wood furniture. Give them a try next time you need to fix something at home!
5) Don’t shake bottles before use
If you’re one of those people who always shakes nail polish bottles before use, don’t. Every time you do that, you’re creating air bubbles in your polish. The only time it’s necessary to shake a bottle is if there are no brush strokes visible in its finish. This happens when liquid and thick polish (like gel) take too long to dry because they’re thicker. In these cases, shake just enough to mix up colour layers without causing bubbles. To avoid shaking altogether, make sure to clean out any excess paint on your brush between coats so you can start each coat with an unclogged applicator.
6) Invest in a good top coat and base coat
The difference between a salon manicure and one that lasts for a week is something called a base coat. It protects your nails from staining. Similarly, the topcoat protects your nail polish from chipping by forming a clear seal over it. If you want to keep your manicure looking good for longer than a day or two, make sure you’re protecting your nails with these two things! To save money and eliminate plastic waste, try making your polish at home.
7) Remove Glitter Quickly
If you’re wearing glitter polish and decide to take it off, do NOT use nail polish remover! The acetone can weaken your nails, which is no good for those with long nails. The solution? Soak cotton pads in nail polish remover and wrap them around your fingernails for a few minutes to soften up each layer of glitter. Once you’ve removed most of it, wipe off any remnants with a new clean cotton pad soaked in acetone-free remover. (This hack also works on chunky rhinestones!) And as always, don’t forget to moisturize when you’re done!
8) Know Where to Buy Cheap Nail Polish
Rather than spending $10 to $20 on a bottle of nail polish from a local store, consider finding cheap alternatives online. There are plenty of beauty supply websites that sell discounted nail polish. For example, Sally Beauty Supply sells top-quality nail polishes at deep discounts. If you’re brand loyal to OPI or Zoya and aren’t looking for any new colours, it might be worth your while to check out Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace—you might be able to find someone selling old polishes in good condition. A lot of people don’t mind using old nail polish so long as they like its colour; it doesn’t matter if it can be found on a clearance rack at Target!
Sometimes you have to stop and appreciate a manicure for what it is. And sometimes, things like glitter nail polish or seashell printed polish are more than just interesting designs—they’re also pieces of art. So when you look at your nails in their salon-perfect glory, it’s OK to smile and say, I like my nails. I think they look beautiful. Nothing wrong with that!