About this time of year, when fall fashion and beauty trickle into our routine, dark hues begin making a regular appearance on our nails. You’ve mastered the basics of a flawless manicure and you’ve learned to breath easy when trying nail art designs on yourself, but rich emeralds and vampy reds leave one task a potential mess – the post-manicure clean up. If you polish with a shaky hand or are working with a brush shape too large for your nail beds, then you may be left with stained cuticles and lacquer overflow. Combat smudges, avoid cotton residue on your nails and finish with a spotless polish job using one of these four clean-up tips. minimize manicure cleanup


Smear a little petroleum jelly around each cuticle with a Q-tip. Avoid rubbing any on the nail itself, because this will hurt polish adhesion. Once your cuticles are coated begin polishing your nails as you always would. The Vaseline prevents the color from grabbing onto the skin and can be wiped off quickly once nails are dry. A bonus feature: Vaseline moisturizes too! You can’t go wrong with a double-duty beauty product.

Lip Balm

Similar to Vaseline, lip balm creates a barrier between your nail polish and the skin. Plus, you almost always have it on hand (no pun intended!). Swipe the stick around your nails before beginning, then push away excess lacquer with an orange stick after your polish has set.

Warm water

After you’ve finished your manicure (top coat and all), wash your hands. Similar to acrylic craft paints, with a little warm water and some gentle scratching, nail polish will roll right off your skin. Pesky polish spread beyond the lip balm covered cuticle? This trick will get the job done!

Artist’s brush with remover

If adding product to your cuticles or washing your hand doesn’t sound appealing, try using a nail brush dipped in remover on the skin around your completed manicure. Lacquer will vanish instantly and leave you with an immaculate and precise mani.   Make sure to apply cuticle oil or lotion your hands following the bottom two tips, as they can leave your skin looking dry and that’s the last thing we want now that our nails are ready for compliments. How do you make post-mani clean up go quickly? Tell us your tips in the comments below.  

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