3 Ways To Apply Nail Polish The RIGHT Way

Posted by in Hands & Feet, Skin Care

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When you have short nails, overgrown cuticles or even dry skin on your hands, nothing brings more attention to your hands than a bold, vibrant nail polish. The last thing you want to do is for your friend, date or co-worker to see your hands when they’re looking less than perfect.

After a long time suffocating under acrylics and stick-on nails, my nails have never been in such a bad condition - painfully short, splitting edges and obvious ridges, I’ve been hiding my hands away for weeks. Doubled with the dehydrated, coarseness of the dry skin on my hands, I’ve been trying everything to reverse the effects of acrylics and this horrid winter weather on my nails and skin.

[Read more: How To Repair Hands After Winter Takes Its Toll]

Owning over 140 nail polishing means that there is very little excuse for me to have bare nails. With nail treatments, clear polishes and a whole variety of nude colours, even the slightest hint of shine or colour could drastically improve the appearance of my nails. After treating my dry hands with my favourite nourishing moisturiser - the ever affordable Cuticura Skin + Balance Dry Skin Intensive Hand Cream, in just a few months, my hands will finally look presentable enough to wear the Essie Glow Your Own Way polish I’ve just bought.

Once my hands are repaired and nails have grown back, there are 3 rules to follow when it comes to painting your nails… the RIGHT way.

Pick The Right Colour

Being olive skinned with a mixed undertone means that not every colour suits me. Just like with lipstick, blush and eyeshadows, nail varnish shades need to complement the skin. The right colour can elongate the fingers, make you look tanned and even bring out the colour of your lipstick or contrast against your statement jewellery.

As my engagement ring has a pink/red ruby in the centre, I am limited to which shade I can wear on my nails as I don’t want it to clash or look out of place, so I tend to stick to ruby reds, black, pastels and nudes to elongate my short fingers, and really make the red in my ring stand out, as well as complement my skin tone.

Picking the right colour for your skin tone and your skin’s pink or yellow undertone, or to complement or contrast against your outfit or accessories is important to achieving the perfect manicure.

Prep Your Hands and Nails First

Getting your hands silky smooth and curing the dry skin on your hands as well as keeping your cuticles and nail beds strong will ensure you’re doing it right. Before and after applying nail polish, moisturise your hands with ORLY Argan Oil Hand Creme and treat your cuticles with Dior Huile Abricot Nail Serum to deeply nourish and strengthen the nails and rehydrate cuticles, eradicating any flaky, dry skin on your hands.

To make your polish last longer and prevent staining, use a nutrient rich base coat like Seche Base Ridge Filling Base Coat to create a smooth base for your nail colour of choice. My favourite shades at present are the Illamasqua Nail Veil in Breathe and Bamboo which are water and oxygen permeable with anti-oxidative and anti-ageing properties with a high gloss finish and are not bold or daring, so are perfect when I don’t want to draw attention to my hands.

[Read more: 3 Amazing Hand Creams For Every Budget]

Know What Look You’re Going For

Whether you want to go bold, keep it neutral, high shine, matte or be daring with an expressive nail art, decide on what look you want to go for, especially if you’re still hiding away your hands due to your dry skin, but can’t stand to see your nails bare.

Depending on the look you’re going for determines which type of polish or tools you need to create these looks. If you’re after a nail art look, you’ll need additional tools and a polish with a fine nib with high pigment. For a mani in a hurry, polishes that require 5 coats and hours of dry time are not ideal for you, so know what look you want to achieve before you start. This will save you money too!

Always finish your look of choice with the sealing, chip protecting, colour enhancing Esteé Lauder Pure Colour Instant Finish Quick Dry Top Coat to boost shine, colour and longevity of your perfect manicure.

Whether you’ve neglected your nails, have dry skin on your hands or just don’t have a lot of time to paint your nails, there’s a polish for everyone and tonnes of treatment serums, oils and creams to restore health and moisture back to your hands and nails. Take our beauty quiz to find the perfect hand cream and cuticle treatment to suit your skin type.