1. How do I avoid getting polish on my cuticles?
Instead of painting right from the cuticle, place the brush on the nail bed about 1/8″ away from the cuticle and push backwards toward it, stopping just before the skin.
2. That’s too much work…how do remove polish from my cuticles?
Plan ahead. Paint your nails about an hour before bedtime, leaving the messy polish on. When taking a shower the next morning, the polish will soften and peel off. Any stubborn polish still left on the skin can easily be removed by rubbing it with a soft towel. Polish not dry yet? In a rush? Use a cotton swab and nail polish remover to do a quick removal.
3. How do I keep my polish from peeling near the skin?
Lightly buff the top of your nail near your cuticle with a fine-grained file. This will take away the top oily enamel and allow better adhesion.
4. My polish doesn’t peel near the skin, it peels at the tips, what am I doing wrong?
It’s usually one of these two things You’ve used two or more coats of ridge-filler and followed with a couple coats of polish. To avoid peeling, stick to only one coat of ridge-filler, and wait until it’s completely dry to apply the regular polish. You painted a couple thick coats instead of a few thin ones. Always use thin coats, it gives better coverage, dries faster and lasts longer.
5. I can’t apply thin coats, my nail polish is just thick to begin with. What should I do?
If you really want your nail polish to keep well in the bottle, keep it in the refrigerator, this will extend its shelf-life. If your polish is old and just getting goopy, invest in some nail polish thinner (NOT remover). You can buy this at drugstores or wherever else nail-care products are sold. Check out the contents before you buy, and don’t use anything containing acetone to thin your polish, it’ll only break it down. Also using thinner, be sure to remove any polish that gets on the edge of the bottle neck, otherwise when you close the bottle, there will be little gaps where air can seep in and dry out the polish.
6. I keep getting those darn bubbles!!! Argh!
Two things can cut down significantly on bubbles.
ROLL the bottle between your palms, instead of shaking it. Shaking just whips bubbles into the polish. Again, the number one rule of nail polish application, use only thin coats. Also, NEVER blow on your polish. Your breath is hot, heat makes polish bubble and tacky.
7. Why does my polish keep cracking?
Frankly, I’m not sure why it does that…but to avoid it, simply apply a thin clear coat of polish every other night.
8. Okay, so how do I know a good top coat from a bad one?
Take it from someone who’s tried ‘em all! GOOD: My two favorites…
Speedy by Creative Nail. It’s earned it’s name. It takes about 3 minutes to dry and leaves your nails nice and shiney. Light Activated Top Coat by Ardell (buy it at drugstores, it’s the same brand that makes false eyelashes). This takes just 30 seconds under a lamp to dry to the touch and only 2 minutes under a lamp to harden completely. This is perfect if you have any sheet- or hair-marks in your polish, the Light Activated Top Coat will smooth it all over to a glossy finish. Just be sure to store it in a dark area or it’ll get goopy fast.
9. My nails keep splitting in layers at the top, will eating gelatin and drinking milk help strengthen them?
No and no. These are just myths. Your fingernails are made of keratin, the same protein as hair. Have you ever seen conditioner brag that it has calcium in it? Probably not. What WILL help strengthen your nails is to avoid filing them as much as possible, and when you have to, file in one direction only. You know what happens if you keep bending a wire back and forth? The same thing happens to nails, just on a different level. People say that you need different moisturizers for your nails than for your hands…why? Well, back to the protein thing again. Would you use hand cream on your hair? Unlikely. The fact is that your fingernails absorb water 100 times faster than your skin does…and the lose the moisture just as fast as they absorb it. So considering how much hand cream you need in the wintertime, think how thirsty your nails are, and recognize that they need just as must tenderness (if not more) than your hands do.
11. I work with food, so my hands are constantly in water. What can I do to keep my manicure nice?
I only see two choices really. Keep nails well-trimmed, and don’t wear polish to work (not even clear, it’ll just crack and peel). Get thee to a nail salon! In my opinion, acrylic is to fingernails what Godiva is to chocolate. Only false nails will stand up to the beating your hands will take.
12. Don’t acrylics cause fungal infections?
NO! Broken seals on acrylics cause fungus if you’re not careful. But most salons now have anti-fungal treatments to apply before the false nails are put on. And if done right, and you have followed the advice of your nail tech, there’s little risk of infection. Wherever you go, be sure to check the salon’s cleaning techniques. Even though the law states that salons must sterilize their equipment between customers, but some have been known to ignore this process. To stay infection-free, it is up to you to check out a salon before you make an appointment.
13. Note for acrylics users… If you do use acrylics, please watch out for the following, they are signs of a fungal infection. Thick skin (sometimes extra skin) along the fingertip-nail growth line discolored nails (this is different from the stains that dark polishes cause) In more advanced cases, spongy, mushy nails .. Sounds gross eh? If you experience any of the above symptoms, consult a reputable nail tech or physician. There are a few over-the-counter products for treatment, but fungal infections really require about a 6-month course of prescription medication in order to properly cure them. Another important reason to see a doctor instead of self-treatment is that such irregularities in fingernails could also be symptoms of a more serious disease.