15 Must-Know Nail Polish Hacks for Better Nail Looks

We love our nail polish, those gorgeous lacquers that come to our aid in our times of need and which have the power to really amp up our fashion sense. No matter what patterns we choose to paint with, which colors shine brightly on our nails or what form of studs and glitter appear on our toes, at the end of the day, it’s all part of our style and outfit ensembles. They certainly do have a rather intriguing effect on our moods, brightening up our days with their sheens and shimmers until we have a bad day and our favourite polishes turn on us by smearing, smudging and scuffing instead of laying smooth on the nail beds. There are, however, some rather interesting and easy DIY nail polish hacks to ensure your digits never see a less than perfect polish finish again.

15 Must-Know Nail Polish Hacks for Better Nail Looks

1. Intensity of the White Coat: You will find that painting white nail polish underneath your desired lacquer will intensify the color and really make your finger pop! It’s like using white shimmer shadows underneath your color shadows on your eyes to really bring out the hues. Using black polish, on the other hand, will deepen the darker colors and bring the focus back to other parts of your body, particularly your face.

2. Brush it off: When you are putting polish on your own nails, chances are that you are going to get it outside the lines and onto your skin. Using an old concealer brush dipped in acetone to clean up the mess and fix up the lines will really help in keeping the polish off your cuticles.

3. Jelly it up: You will be surprised to read that the best way to keep excess nail polish from appearing on your skin and cuticles is to use an old wives’ favourite: the petroleum jelly known commonly as Vaseline. Use a Q-tip to trace the jelly along the edges of your nails and voila! It will naturally keep the polish in the lines and magically save the day!

4. Easy Protection: Scuffs, fuzz and hair are all too common on nails that we think are finished and polished. In order to keep the lacquer from damage, add a drop of cuticle oil directly on top of the polish for maximum effect. It’s nothing special, but it does its job rather well.

See also: How To Paint Your Nails Like A Pro

5. Prolonging Wear: It’s probably one of the worst things to see your nail chipped a few hours or a day after you have just spent an arm and a leg on a manicure and pedicure combination. In order to prolong the life of your polish and keep chips away, add a top coat at some point within every 24 hours, keeping it shiny and fresh for a longer period of time.

6. Quick Dry: Sometimes the problem lies not in putting on the polish but having it dry out quickly enough to be able to run out the door as soon as possible, which is probably why you should allocate a few hours of down time if you plan on getting a proper manicure. That’s just not possible in today’s world, however, and our polishes suffer for it all the more. To dry faster, however, you can just dunk those pretty fingers of yours in a bowl of ice water and you will love how fast you won’t have to worry about getting it damaged as much anymore.

7. For Easy Removal: If you want to paint those nails in a funky color or add loads of glitter that you really don’t want staying on for long, use school glue, particularly the Elmer’s brand that you paint on like a base coat before adding the lacquer you want. Whenever you want it gone, just peel off the glue and you are ready to go. You do not need to find any products, cotton balls aluminum foils, etc.

8. Smoothing Stick Polish: Oxygen and heat are the culprits in making nail polish go sticky on us. In order to prevent this unwanted phenomenon, keep your polish lids tightly closed and put away from direct sunlight that might affect their consistency. The best place you can store your polishes is actually in the fridge or a cold cellar.

9. Unsticking Lids: One of the most frustrating things that can pane with our nail polish bottles is for the lids to get stuck after use. This can be preventing by using a paper towel and acetone to wipe off the excess polish from the rim, which also in turn helps keep the polish fresh.

Related: Nail Care Tips For Peeling, Fragile Nails

10. Even it Out: For some strange reason, the cream or white polishes are always watery and streaky when we want to use them. In order to even out the consistency, use a ridge-filling base coat and it should help keep things smooth without any unseemly designs.

11. Setting the Manicure: You can use something as simple as an oil spray from your kitchen to help set your manicure and prevent smudges. It’s not your typical tip, but it certainly is a useful one and doesn’t require any special products to do the job correctly.

12. Prevent Chipping: You will be using that top coat anyhow, but don’t forget to run the clear polish along the edge of your nail, not the cuticle side, in order to seal off the raw edges of the posh that might be the culprits in chipping away at your fresh manicures.

13. Multiple Coatings: You will notice that applying thick layers leaves your nails prone to smudges and damage, while applying thin layers in multiple coats does a better job in keeping your digits looking their best in clear, colorful and fresh lacquered layers.

14. Lick it Smooth: Perhaps one of the funniest hacks when it comes to fixing nail polish smudges is by licking the finger and smoothing it out. You shouldn’t be eating it of course, but the saliva reacts with the polish to soften and blend the surface, ensuring you don’t have to walk around with smudged polish again.

15. Steer Clear of Fans: Despite the fact that salons love to put you in front of fans to help dry your nails faster, you are in truth creating bubbles and likely even ripples in your still wet nails. Instead, just let it air dry or opt to soak in iced water after a few minutes of letting it set.

Photo courtesy of Vogue

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Written by Tamar Najarian
Tamar is a psychologist, teaching and heading into the business world with a prospective MBA. A silly lover of books and words, she generally loves to seek out new adventures, getting her toes wet and her hands dirty. Having moved to Armenia nearly two years ago, she feels like the world is at her fingertips and anything is possible so long as you take a step in that direction.