Top Secret Manicure Tips

I thought I would post some beauty tips on this blog to answer some questions I get from friends.  The first is Top Secret Manicure Tips.

We all know how to paint our nails, and that we should file them and apply cream to soften our cuticles and nail beds.  I’m not going to talk about the obvious stuff, but rather some tips that most skip (and why they shouldn’t), how many layers to apply, and never-fail nail polish brands.

Don’t Skip the Basecoat!
Think of your nails as a Ferari and apply your nail polish like an auto-pro would re-paint a car.  Nobody’s nails are perfectly smooth, and the basecoat is a thick clear polish that is designed to fill in the nailbed’s pits and grooves.  The basecoat also serves to  protect your natural nail from that nasty yellowing you get from years of nail polish coloring.

How Many Layers of Nail Polish Should I Apply?
Once the bondo and primer is set (a.k.a. the basecoat is dry) you apply the nail color.  (Yes, I’m still sticking with my car analogy.)   The traditional rule was to apply 2 coats…and I think that’s the best advice.  Too many coats will cause the height of the nail to extend past the “please don’t chip the first day” fear we all have, but one coat is never enough…no matter what the advertisement tells you!

OPI Basecoat

But here’s the secret tip… if your nail extends more than 1/4 inch past the fingertip, and you do a lot of typing and texting (who doesn’t these days, right girls?) I recommend an intermediate layer between the traditional 1st and 2nd coat.  Apply this layer horizontal, only across the very tip of the nail (the white part).  CAUTION: Do not attempt this layer if your nails are short, you’ll only end up with a complete mess on either side of the nail and have to start the entire process over!

Don’t Skip the Top Coat!
Once the 2nd layer of nail polish has dried completely, apply a Top Coat!  Here we go with my car story again…all vehicles have a clear coat finish, this protects the vehicle’s paint for chips and scratches…same thing with your nails ladies!  If you apply a layer of top coat over your nail polish, this clear layer will take the scratch and chip abuses while leaving your color intact for a much longer period of time.  The top coat can extend your coverage for up to a week.  You can either do a manicure every few days, or you can do it once every 2 weeks.  Test the theory yourself!

OPI Top Coat

The Best Nail Polish Brands
When you’re talking nail polish, just like anything, you get what you pay for!  I would rather pay a higher price for a polish that is going to work the best, and last the longest on the shelf, than buy cheap and toss it out before I’m halfway through the bottle…but that’s just me.  I feel the same way about clothes and handbags – the investment is higher in the beginning, but you end up saving money in the long haul.

Maybe these manicure tips aren’t really top-secret, but they are designed to help you save time and money.  Please comment about your favorite nail polish brands…and why…and tips you’d like to share.  Thanks for reading!