A manicure is one of life’s most fulfilling pleasures: It’s inexpensive, takes less than 30 minutes, and can be done at home (usually while parked in front of the latest installment of Mob Wives). We talked to reigning polish princess Essie Weingarten (as in The Essie) to nail down her best tips for getting your best tips at home.
Q: What’s the best way to keep polish on your nails instead of your skin? A:Apply polish with hands down; one hand faces out away from you and one hand faces towards you. Put your first stroke down the middle of your nail, then follow-up on either side. If polish accidentally goes outside of the nail, use a remover pen (like the Essie Nail Corrector Pen) to easily clean it up.
Q: What should you do to make sure polish goes on smooth? A: A base coat acts as a foundation for nails, and will help polish go on smooth and adhere properly. Of course, make sure nails are clean and dry before you apply it. If there’s any residue on the nails, it will prevent the basecoat from doing its job. Thinking of skipping it? You could end up with dry, stained tips, especially if you’re using a darker polish shade. Try L’Oreal Colour Riche One Stop Base Coat.
Q: What’s the key to gorgeous cuticles? A: Never, ever cut them! This will just cause them to look ragged and thick. Instead, push cuticles back to keep them looking neat and well-groomed. To keep hangnails at bay and prolong the life of your mani, smooth on cuticle oil like Nailtiques Cuticle Care Oil throughout the day.
Q: Once and for all, what is the best way to file nails? A: The rule of thumb (and all the other fingers) is to file in one direction so your nails don’t split. Filing back and forth causes peeling and weakens nails. While nail length is totally up to you, short, well-kept nails are always in fashion and easier to maintain (and maneuver through everything you do all day). The shape of your nail should follow the natural line of your cuticle, which is usually 'squoval' (square/oval).
Q: What’s the biggest at-home mani mistake? A: Not waiting long enough in between each coat of polish, including base and top coat. Wait at least two minutes to help polish set properly and avoid chipping.