You wouldn’t do your makeup without first cleansing, toning and priming right? Right?! It’s time to start thinking about your nails the same way. Your nail bed constantly produces natural oils – but just like a non-stick pan, nothing sticks to oil! Use a high-quality Nail Polish Remover to scrub (and I mean really scrub!) those nails before applying anything at all. And a little bit of a warning . . . once you scrub them you have roughly 10 minutes to get base coat on before the oils take over again.
2. Base Coat… Is it really necessary?
Yes! Base coat is SO important. A high quality Base Coat is designed to be attracted to keratin (the stuff your nail is made of) and then to attract the polish to itself. Think of it like double-sided tape for nail polish. Apply it super thin too, I literally paint 3-4 nails before I dip into my bottle again and that’s after wiping as much off the brush as I can in the first place. If you’re looking for a really great product I recommend Lumos Bottom Coat (RRP $ 24.99).
3. Think THIN!
You know how your polish always takes ages to dry? I’m not about to tell you it should be good to go 5 minutes after application BUT I can almost 100% guarantee it’s taking longer than necessary. If you have applied your Base Coat thin enough, it should be dry by the time you are ready for your first coat of colour. Apply that coat as thin as possible. Streaks are ok as the second coat will fill the gaps and if it doesn’t, do a third. 3-4 thin coats are much better than 2 thick ones. Try and ‘float’ your brush, using it as flat as possible and riding the wave of polish rather than pressing it onto the nail. Wait a few minutes before applying the second layer and ALWAYS apply a top coat again – as thin as you can manage.
4. Shimmer Sticks
Need more of a guarantee that your polish will last? Think about the types of polish that are the hardest to get off . . . it’s that darn glitter! Any polish with added particles will last longer. That includes anything from a chunky glitter to a super fine shimmer. The added particles act as reinforcements, holding the layer together. As an added bonus, most glitters and shimmers have a sheer base and when it comes to strength, the clearer the better for polish. Pigment weakens the product, so the less colour the better.
5. Oil Up!
So you know how I said nothing sticks to oil? Once the polish is on, now’s your time to shine. Apply a good quality Cuticle Oil at least 1-2 times daily. This will prevent both your nail and your polish from becoming brittle. Keep your oil away from sunlight and high temperatures though as this can damage the active ingredients. Replace it every 6-12 months too, to ensure it is clean and doing more good than harm. My fave oil right now is Dadi Oil by Famous Names. It comes in super convenient 3.75ml minis (RRP $9.95) so you can have one at work, home and in the car.