Tired of looking like your nail polish was applied by a three-year-old?
Follow this step-by-step guide to paint your nails perfect, perfect, perfect.
This guide is your handbook for queen & king behaviour nail application. Get the salon vibe without the social anxiety.
It's not as difficult as you might think to learn how to paint nails at home, and the tips and tricks in this guide will give you everything you need to know.
Keep scrolling for our expert tutorial.
1. PREP YOUR NAILS BY CLEANING THEM WITH POLISH REMOVER
For the perfect home manicure, prep like you mean it. It starts with a good nail polish remover. Even if you don't currently have any polish on, it can be helpful to run a cotton ball of remover over each nail.
Try to stay away from nail polish with acetone as it's quite harsh and can wear down your nail.
Using an acetone free nail polish remover will ensure any dirt or oils that might warp the polish are removed.
For those of you who don’t have existing nail polish on, it’s always a good idea to give your nails a quick clean with a cotton ball of remover to make sure there’s no grime or dirt that might affect your application.
If you want to go the extra mile, use cuticle oil to moisturise any dry parts. If you’re not that extra and don’t have cuticle oil on hand easily (because who does?) try a small amount of olive or coconut oil.
2. FILE & SHAPE TO GIVE YOURSELF A GREAT CANVAS
Cut and file your nails to the desired shape once they are cleaned.
A round shape is usually best for shorter nails but with more length, you are free to go square, round or a combination of both.
We hear that a ‘squoval’ shape is trending for 2022, but honestly are we fussed? There’s plenty of nail shape inspiration around, experiment with something thats right for your hands.
Make sure you only file in one direction. Back and forth movements can damage the nail and this is not how to paint your nails perfectly!
3. APPLY A YOUR BASE COAT
Please, please what ever you do, don't skip this step. The base coat is an important step in the process! It gives the nails a smooth surface for the polish to adhere to.
This can help keep your nails hydrated, prevents chipping, and ensures the final coat has more durability and better protected against stains.
Make sure the base coat dries fully before proceeding to the next step. This is your chance to take a moment for yourself. Meditate, manifest, or just doom scroll for a little.
Whatever you’re into, applying a basee coat now will give your polish the pop it deserves and a longer lifespan.
4. START WITH THE FIRST COAT
Apply the first coat of nail polish using the brush it comes with. Try to wipe off a bit of excess so there isn't a heap of liquid on the brush. This will give you more control, and room to improve.
Press the brush into the cuticle to achieve a neat line at the edge.Remember that less is more and you don't need to rush.
Three strokes are all you need: one down the middle of the nail and one on either side. Cap the edge of the nail for a clean finish that lasts longer - this is how to paint nails neatly.
A FEW BRUSHING TIPS FOR A NEAT FINISH
To paint your nails without streaks, a base coat will do all the world of good, and you try to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle rather than flat against the nail.
To avoid getting nail polish on your skin, a simple trick is to apply a small amount of petroleum to the skin around your nails.
Any polish that gets on the jelly won't stick to your skin and can be washed off afterwards. Alternatively, a quick hack is to simply use an old brush dipped in remover and carefully swipe around any messy edges for a flawless finish.
Use a second coat if all else fails. Cover up any streaks brushmarks or other imperfections before finishing.
5. FINISH WITH A TOP COAT
A specialist top coat will lock in the colour for a professional-looking finish. Lots of people skip this step but it pays to take a little extra care. After all, you may as well let your nails shine as much as your personality.
A top coat is also great way to add in some extra shine for a glam look and help prevent chipping once you take your new manicure out into the world.
6. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, SLAY THE DAY AWAY
This is how kings, queens, hot girls, and generally anyone that slays paints their nails.
If you have any questions about your nail polish, the team at Sama can help. contact us and we'll answer your questions.