7 Tips to Master Painting Your Own Nails

7 Tips to Master Painting Your Own Nails

When it comes to painting your own nails, I find people either love it or hate it (and typically, those feelings relate to how skilled one may be at doing it). I’m a very indecisive person and I love to switch up my nail color every 3-4 days, so over years of playing with nail polish I feel like I’ve got a pretty good technique down.

Salon visits can be pricey, especially if you’re going every couple weeks! Learning to master the art of painting your own nails can save you money, give you the added convenience of changing up your color as you wish and can actually be an enjoyable activity!

The new Sally Hansen Color Therapy collection is a perfect place to start. The system requires no base coat (so you can already check that step off your list) and is formulated with a trio of nourishing oils to keep nails strong and healthy so you can wear nail color 24/7, guilt-free. I swatched all of the shades here if you want to see them on the nails too!

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  • Tip #1: Load Up
  • Tip #1: Load Up

    Dip the brush into the bottle, let the excess run off for a few seconds then wipe only one side of the brush (I like to wipe away from me, so the nail polish is loaded on the underside of the brush).

    You want to have enough polish on the brush to smoothly apply, yet not too much that it overflows onto the cuticle. Practice really makes perfect for finding that sweet spot and knowing what it looks like on the brush.

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  • Tip #2: Balancing Act
  • Tip #2: Balancing Act

    If you have trouble with shaky hands, try resting your fingers on a round object like a water bottle. This will help to elevate your fingers so your polishing hand can move easily. This is particularly helpful for polishing your non-dominant hand!

    Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish (we’re using the shade Good As Blue here) is infused with nourishing, hydrating oils right in the color to keep nails healthy and strong as you wear it.

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  • Tip #3: Border Patrol
  • Tip #3: Border Patrol

    When applying your nail color, start by touching the brush down about 2/3 of the way to the cuticle. Add a little bit of pressure and the brush will fan out and push the polish towards the cuticle in a nice, round shape. Then, pull the brush to the tip of the nail and repeat down the sides of each nail. Be sure to leave a small border of space around the polish at the cuticle for a clean, salon-quality look.

    The shape of the Sally Hansen Color Therapy brush is wider than traditional ones so you can evenly paint a nail in fewer strokes (I can paint my pinky nails with just on single stroke each)! It also has a flat, rounded tip—making it even easier to create a smooth cuticle line.

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  • Tip #4: The Waiting Game
  • Tip #4: The Waiting Game

    Waiting at least a few minutes in between polish coats is essential. I like to paint my nails while I’m watching TV or just relaxing, because a rushed polish job is just a bad idea (I’ve made the mistake enough times to learn my lesson).

    Nail polish coats will go on much smoother if you wait until the top layer has dried. Don’t worry if your first coat isn’t perfect—the second coat of polish will help even out the color and cover areas you may have missed! If you’re a slow painter, your first finger should be sufficiently dried by the time you paint the other 9!

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  • Tip #5: Seal It In
  • Tip #5: Seal It In

    When applying your top coat, make sure to run the brush along the free edge of the nail as well—a technique called “capping”—which seals in the polish and helps to prevent chips at the tip of the nail. If your manicure starts looking dull or you notice a small chip, re-apply the top coat and make sure to cap it well.

    Sally Hansen Color Therapy Top Coat contains a nourishing oil trio to keep nails hydrated, nourished and super glossy. It also prevents your nail color from fading or chipping for up to 10 days.

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  • Tip #6: Clean Up Crew
  • Tip #6: Clean Up Crew

    Mistakes happen to the best of us—even to professional manicurists! Simply saturate a cotton swab (or better yet, invest in a nail brush) with some acetone and lightly touch it to the mistake for a few seconds. It should disappear with just a few gentle swipes! This is a great way to clean up smudges on the skin or polish on the cuticle.

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  • Tip #7: Oil 'Em Up
  • Tip #7: Oil 'Em Up

    Cuticle oil is one step that so many people forget to do at home and it is so important! Applying cuticle oil to the skin surrounding the nail (all the way to the first joint) re-hydrates the skin after using drying alcohol and acetone plus it nourishes the tissue that helps build strong, healthy nails. Clean, hydrated cuticles really make your manicure look like you just got home from the salon (there’s a reason they don’t let you leave without cuticle oil)!

    Swipe on a tiny amount of Sally Hansen Color Therapy Cuticle Oil to each finger and gently blend it into the skin—it absorbs quickly, smells great and leaves skin looking glowing. Get in the habit of re-applying each night before bed to keep your nails looking healthy and staying nourished.

    Painting Your Own Nails

    When it comes to DIY nail polish application, practice really does make perfect. Keep trying, be patient and make mistakes (then fix ’em with Tip #6) until you get the hang of it—and you will!

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