When it comes to applying and maintaining your nails, there’s plenty to learn from pampering in a salon, but we always want to step out of the box. Below are ten simple (and yet fun) tricks that let you customize your nail look at home.
To prep your nails for painting, use a paste or cream like Hyaluronic Acid Nail Paste to improve the pigment. While a sugar-based polish holds longer, oils are more responsive, says Aubrey Babity of New York Nail Salon LabGirlNYC. Plus, the sugar-based polish produces a more “textured” finish because of its combination of oils and sugars, similar to nail lacquer or gel. Skip the short prep time for glossy nails, and spritz nail polish with a moisturizing treatment like Neutrogena Power Juicy Liquid Nail Soak ($6). Apply gel-finish formulas first. They leave a solid finish over more easily because of their thin layers, says Babity. The consistency also gives a slight gloss. Adding a coat on top is best, and then you can change out the texture of the base coat by just slipping on a thin layer of opaque acetone. Silicone-based products might be too slippy or go crunchy in the shower, so stay away. Instead, use clear nail polish or pressed powder like NanoGel ($8) for the same sticky results. If you have brittle nails, gel-finish paints don’t leave as much breakage on nails, especially when they’re applied on dried nails. Use a clear tip applicator, or use your hand to apply colors. To reduce scratching, dip a tissue into a solution of two or three drops of acetone, then rub onto the nail with your thumbnail. The acetone hardens the nail and brings it together.