Wednesday: Paint Your Nails

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a somewhat rigid beauty regime. What can I say? I’m a Virgo who finds extreme comfort in routine and each day of the week, I perform a different task from washing my hair to shaving my legs. What’s even crazier than this schedule is the fact that I’ve made up a song, or rhyme really, to go along with it. But that’s a whole other story! Today I’m just focusing on Wednesday’s task, which is to paint my nails.

Every Wednesday, without fail, I give myself a manicure and a pedicure. I’m not sure when I started doing this; I think it dates back to my sophomore year in high school, which means I’ve been painting my nails once a week for roughly the past 15 years! As you could imagine, I have an extensive collection of nail polish — it fills an entire drawer in my hallway’s cupboard. I’ve gotten the technique down to a science, and since nail polish has become incredibly trendy as of late, I thought I would share how I paint my nails. There’s also some helpful tips — including the most important thing I ever learned from a teacher, my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Kalor to be exact, whose impeccable manicures I always admired as a dorky nine year old.

How to Paint Your Nails

Please note that my manicures usually last a week with minimal chipping. I’m a huge fan of Revlon polish. It’s affordable and comes in a wide variety of colors.
1. Start by trimming both nails and toenails. I prefer to keep my nails relatively short and barely allow them to grow above my fingers. I use small scissors rather than nail clippers to do the cutting.

2. Next use a cotton ball and non-acetone nourishing nail polish remover to take off last week’s polish on the toes and fingers. I begin with the toes because some of the remover will seep onto your fingers and make it easier to remove.

3. Once all the polish is removed, wash hands and dry well. Rub on a good hand lotion. Your nails should be clean and ready for shining.

4. File the tip of each nail, rounding the file along the curve of your finger as you go, in one direction only, so you don’t rip the nail. Buff with a nail buffer until the nails are smooth and shiny.

5. Brush a thin layer of base coat on each nail and toenail. Sit still for 8-10 minutes (try not to do anything!) until base coat is completely dry.

6. Now it’s time for the color! Brush a thin coat of color evenly across the nail being careful not to get it on the skin next to your nail. To seal the nail polish, take a tip from my 4th grade teacher, the stylish Mrs. Kalor, and brush color carefully onto the edge of the nail. Seriously, this is an anti-chip trick that you have to try. Brush a single even layer of color onto the toenails. Sit still for 8-10 minutes, don’t do anything, and let the nails dry.

7. Brush another thin and even layer of color onto each nail and toenail. Wait another 8-10 minutes, sitting still, until the second and final layer of color is completely dry. Don’t worry if you got some polish on the skin around your nails. This will come off as soon as you take a shower.

8. Finish the process, by brushing on a thin layer of top coat. This seals the color in and protects it from chipping. Sit for 20 full minutes and don’t touch or do anything. This will ensure that nails are totally dry and won’t smudge when you go to do something with your hands or feet.

9. This step may seem annoying, but it’s essential to making the manicure last a week, so don’t skip it! Two days after you have painted your nails, in my case this is every Friday, brush nails with another even thin layer of color. Wait 8 minutes and top with another layer of top coat. Let dry, sitting still for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy your manicure until the following Wednesday, when it comes time to paint your nails again.

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