Streak-free manicure is somewhat of a buzzword around the MDC offices. We do our fair share of nail polishing around here (have you seen our desk drawers?) and staring down at streaky nails as we type away all day is simply not an option. How do the pros get that smooth, even application every time? This is a question we’ve asked ourselves many times. So today, we’re asking celebrity and editorial fashion manicurist Nia Cooper to spill her professional secrets. Stick with her must-follow steps (which are sprinkled with some impressive insider tricks) and you’ll be ready to polish like the pros.
Step 1: Remove Residue
Once your nails are shaped and smoothed, wash your hands and nails with antibacterial hand soap under cool water. Cooper recommends using a manicure brush to scrub your nails to remove any oils and debris left from filing and buffing the nails. Pick up The Body Shop’s Wooden Nail Brush or find one at any beauty supply store. Wait a few minutes for your hands and nails to fully dry before you start polishing.
Step 2: Select a Great Base
Cooper is an advocate of ridge filling base coats because they “fill in any gaps or ridges on the nails, ensuring polish glides on smoothly and streak-free.” Try OPI Ridge Filler Base Coat or essie Ridge Filling Base Coat. Apply one thin coat and wait two minutes while it dries before moving on.
Step 3: Polish in 3’s
“Using the ‘3-stroke’ method, apply the color starting from the center of the nail, then side to side, and cap the free edge (that means swipe the brush on the tip of the nail),” instructs Cooper. Cooper also says the real key is to obtaining streak-free fingers, is to “avoid the ‘double dip’ and to use as little polish as possible, but to make sure enough polish is on the brush in that first dip to cover the nail.” Allow your nails to dry for two minutes in between coats.
Step 4: Seal the Deal
No manicure is complete without top coat. Seal the polish with a high shine top coat applied using the same “3-stroke” method, making sure you cap the free edge again. Try Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat or essie No Chips Ahead. To prevent any polish disruptions, “Allow the manicure to dry for five minutes before applying cuticle oil and dryer spray or drops,” notes Cooper.
What other manicure concerns do you have? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll take your questions to our experts!