An on-point manicure is always the best way to make yourself feel pulled together - so we’ve been practising our summer nail art for colourful tips that get envious looks every time we leave the house.
Whether you’re painting bright stripes or summery polka dots, these are the tricks we’ve picked up along the way to make creating your elaborate mani a whole lot easier.
1. Prep well
There’s no point painting beautiful designs on ragged nails. Treat yourself to a full at-home manicure, starting by soaking your hands in warm water. Gently shape and buff your nails to smooth away any ridges, and pay special attention to your cuticles, pushing them back and trimming away any dead skin or hangnails. Finish by massaging cream into your hands so your skin is baby soft before you start adding your colour.
2. Use Vaseline to protect your hands
A little swipe of petroleum jelly around the bed of your nails will help stop the polish straying onto your skin, so you don’t end up with colourful cuticles. After your manicure is dry, simply wipe off the Vaseline for nails that are neat and tidy.
3. Gather your tools
You don’t have to fork out for special nail art tools - there are plenty of useful bits and pieces lying around your house. For example, try using scotch tape for thicker stripes and angles. A bobby pin is the perfect tool for creating polka dots, while a rubber band is useful for French manicures. Just tie it in the middle, loop one end over your thumb and the other over the tip of the nail you’re working on to create the French tip shape. Simple!
4.Seal your manicure
To make your polish last longer without chipping, paint your top coat then run the the brush along the top of the nail to ‘seal’ in the rest of the polish.
5. Ice your nails
Always paint with thin coats of polish to make sure they dry quickly, but if you need a bit of speed, put your hands in iced water after you’ve finished painting. The cold will help set the paint, leaving you with smudge-free nails.
What are your favourite hacks for perfect nails? Here are ways to get a perfect set of 10.