Nearly everyone knows exactly what they are looking for in a manicure. Even if you go to a high-end salon with a stylist you completely trust, you probably have specific ideas in mind for how your nails should look.
Since even professionals can be creatures of habit, mistakes are bound to happen in a manicure. You need to be especially careful if you do your manicures at home. Professionals are trained to avoid most of these mistakes, but the rest of us may not know all we think we know about manicure mistakes.
You have spent the money on quality manicure products. You are certainly looking forward to great looking nails. Now take the time to avoid these common mistakes. By avoiding these mistakes you will not only make sure your nails look fantastic, but you will also maintain the life of your manicure products and save money.
We are going to go over 10 manicure mistakes not to make. These are the worst offenders, the manicure mistakes that you need to know about in order to have and maintain great looking nails.
- 1 Storing Polish Incorrectly
- 2 Exposing Nail Polish to Sunlight
- 3 Filing Incorrectly
- 4 Shaking out the Polish
- 5 Thinning the polish with nail polish remover
- 6 Applying a base coat
- 7 Applying polish incorrectly
- 8 Painting it on too thin
- 9 Forgetting to seal the tip
- 10 Using Q-tips to correct mistakes
- 11 Wrapping things up
Storing Polish Incorrectly
Never store nail polish on its side. The polish will leak into the cap and harden. If you have spent good money on high-quality nail polish and you would like to use it more than once, keep the bottle upright. Keep your polished away from any source of heat. Direct heat will completely dry up or denature the polish. And don’t store them in the bathroom. The changing heat and humidity will ruin your expensive nail polish.
Exposing Nail Polish to Sunlight
Nail polish will react with sunlight. This can cause the chemical makeup of the polish to degrade. Your expensive polish will lose its consistency and no longer adhere to your nails. Keep your polish out of the direct sun. Along the same line of thought, you should avoid over-exposing your nails to the sun also. Sun damage to nails can cause ridgelines.
This is all too common. So many of us learn the habit of filing from mothers or older relatives, and never get a real lesson in how to file properly. NEVER file in a back and forth motion. This can cause splitting and cracking. Always file in one direction. Use a soft grit nail file (a 240 grit is recommended by professionals). This will prevent tearing the nail.
Shaking out the Polish
We often see people shaking the polish to even out the consistency. This is a mistake. Shaking can introduce air bubbles into the polish which will cause an uneven shine. Instead of shaking, roll the polish bottle between your hands like you are forming a ball. The gentle motion of rolling the bottle will mix the polish, and the heat from your hands will guarantee a gentle blend of the colors and consistency. This will allow for a gentle and even mix.
Thinning the polish with nail polish remover
This is an obvious mistake to some; not so obvious to others. Intuitively, it seems like a good idea to thin out some goopy nail polish with a little polish remover. In fact, all this does is dilute the nail polish and makes it useless. Invest in some actual nail polish thinner. There are some top-rated nail polish thinners used by the pros that are available for under 10 bucks that are available online. The minimal expense up front will come back to you as you gain life from polishes that have been sitting around for a while.
Applying a base coat
Some people want to skip the base coat. This is a big mistake. Always apply a full base coat, that is from tip to cuticle. Without a base coat, your nails will begin to yellow. Also, a base coat adds an extra layer of cellulose, a key ingredient in base coats, which creates a more adhesive surface for the actual polish. A good base coat also protects against flaking, peeling, and cracking.
Applying polish incorrectly
There is one right way and a lot of wrong ways. Use three simple and continuous strokes. One down the middle, and two down each side covering the whole nail. Dip the brush in and get a thin layer on the brush (you will need to apply another coat anyway). Move in one continuous direction. Do not cover the entire nail in one stroke. This inevitably leads to an uneven application that will show within a day.
Painting it on too thin
It is tempting to paint on a good thick coat of nail polish and be finished. This is a mistake. The thick coat will take too long to dry, and you will likely smudge it while you are waiting. Paint on the polish in thin coats, waiting for each to dry completely before the next coat.
Forgetting to seal the tip
This mistake is extremely common, largely due to a lack of patience. Seal the tip of each nail by gently guiding the brush along the tip. If you do not seal the tips, your polish will easily crack as soon as you do just about anything.
Using Q-tips to correct mistakes
This is making another mistake to correct a mistake. Q-tips will leave fibers in the polish that are impossible to remove. AS the polish dries, the fibers will become even more obvious. Try using an old makeup brush with just a little nail polish remover to correct mistakes. The fibers in makeup brushes are thicker and are less likely to get caught in the polish. Even if a makeup brush fiber does by chance get caught in the polish, it is possible to remove it.
Wrapping things up
As we said in the beginning, many of these mistakes become common because so many of us learn them from others who have always made the same mistakes. That is why these are so common. But if you have spared no expense in getting high-quality nail polish and other manicure materials, why ruin the final outcome with simple and easily avoidable mistakes.
Follow the simple rules and procedures in this guide and you will avoid the potential damage from common manicure mistakes. Often is just takes a little more care than we might imagine. You obviously care about great looking nails so avoid the little mistakes that ruin a fine manicure.