So, I might have said to more than one person on FB and Twitter how am going to write a post about nails and nail polish and other stuff and yeah, I might have not written that yet?
This is basics post (according always to me, my needs and my nails, other things might work better for you).
Am gonna say this upfront, I have tried the cheap route: cheap nail polish, cheap nail polish remover, cheap stickers, but seriously besides the stickers the other two are not worth it, you are gonna end up spending more money, unless you find that rare something that works.
1. Do not paint your nails after you've had a shower/bath/washed the dishes. But if you do (like I always do, ha), dry your hands very well and then put some nail polish remover on a cotton pad and clean all your nails. The polish remover will dry the nail and take off any extra moisture. (Extra moisture in your nails is bad, cause after a few hours of doing the perfect nails you may see bubbles forming or cracks).
2. Do not moisturize with hand cream before you do your nails!! Or if you do follow the above step again.
3. If your hands are like mine in the essence that the meat of your fingers is very close to your nails (basically enclosing the nails) follow these steps: a) push back with a small wooden pick (or plastic) the ones specially for nails, so that it creates some distance between your finger and the nail b) coat the finger edges around the nail with moisturizer or vaseline (but NOT on the nail) after you have finished painting your nails you can carefully with a cotton pad wipe away the vaseline along with any extra nail polish that got on your fingers.
4. If you do not like to to paint your nails with the necessary space between the nail and the finger (like everybody suggests) and you want to cover the whole area then it is necessary to be very adept at a) not covering your whole finger with polish b) very good at clean up. If you can manage to clean up I always recommend to use a brush and some nail polish remover as the best option (more details below)
5. Allow for some time to paint your nails and do not leave them till the last minute. Avoid doing your nails just before bed (especially in the winter as your body heat along with the covers will mess your nails almost certainly even if they do appear to be completely dry). If you are in a hurry and plan to wear something complicated like jeans or boots or pantyhose, get dressed first and then do your nails (zippers are not kind to your nails). Always use Express drying oil (drip or spray). If you are in a hurry and seriously don't have time you can skip the top coat and do it later (but do not skip it all together).
Things I need to have:
1. Good nail polish remover (professional grade if possible)
2. Nail polish remover in a bottle from Sephora (express remover, you stick you nail in the small bottle with the help of the sponge inside you can clean your nails even from the most stubborn nail polish full of glitter. WARNING: if you use glitter nail polish a lot this product or something similar might save you). There are alternatives to this like the glue trick (paint your nail with Elmer's glue and just watch this video
) or the cotton pad bits soaked in polish remover on every nail and stuck there with baking foil.
3. A brush that you can use to correct your manicure (I use one of these
along with another, straight with a thin line to the top). The MAC brush above is one of the best I've had so far, it's short and rather tough. If the brush is too soft or too wide you might end up with a ruined paint job.
4. A small glass or ashtray (glass) to use in order to dip the brush into nail polish remover for correcting.
5. Sephora Express Drying Oil (drip) or something similar, so you can dry your nails in 2 minutes instead of waiting for hours (there's also Drying Oil in spray form, but you will find out that as you spray on your nail and the polish is wet the oil falling on it forms tiny bubbles on the surface of your nails that just won't smooth out).
6. Base coat. a) it will protect your nails from looking like crap when not painted b) it will give your polish a smooth surface and better "grip" c) if you have a problem with your nails (mine are peeling) this can be a base coat that helps you d) stronger nails
7. Top coat. Super shiny or rapid dry, whichever you prefer (I have both, Rapid Dry from OPI which is amazing and Mirror Shine from Sephora). Even if you use the cheapest nail polish ever, it is worth it to splurge on a good top coat that will give you shine or protection. Good quality top coats also dry rather fast which is awesome.
8. Yellow out coat/polish. For those rare days that you don't have time to actually paint your nails and cause at times not even base coat can help you with your nails not looking stained, Yellow Out is an amazing thing. Alternatively a very light pink nail polish can help, with even just one coat it help your nails not look yellowish)
9. Some standard colors (light pink, light beige, red, purple, brown, blue, turcoise.... eeeeh.) or you know the whole counter at Sephora.
And this is my box of nail polish and stuff (note the gazillion OPI ones, along with lots of Biolife (mostly bases for glitter and my Seventeen nail care polishes, I also have two MAC ones which I sort of loath. Ugh).