How to Paint Your Nails With Your Non-Dominant Hand

January 11, 2021
Genesis Rivas
By: Genesis Rivas | by L'Oréal
I’ve learned many beauty skills over the years, but my unsteady hands have prevented me from mastering some simple techniques. It’s the very reason why my eyeliner wings are always cousins, never twins, that lining my lips always takes a couple of tries and why I can never achieve a streak-free DIY manicure on both hands. But after speaking with celebrity nail artist Elle, I learned some of her best tips for painting your nails with your non-dominant hand. Keep reading for five easy tips that will help you (and me!) achieve a beautiful DIY manicure every time.

TIP 1: Take Your Time Between Coats 

“Polishing your nails with your non-dominant hand can be tricky,” says Elle. When applying color, take your time in between coats to avoid any smudging. She recommends resting your non-dominant hand on something so it’s stable while painting and laying your dominant hand flat for a more secure application. 

TIP 2: Don’t Underestimate the Power of Lighting

“Great lighting helps you see what your hand might miss normally,” says Elle. Avoid mistakes and streaks by ensuring you’re in a room with good lighting while painting. 

TIP 3: Paint Your Non-Dominant Hand First 

While it might seem natural to paint your nails using your dominant hand first, doing so means you’ll have to use your non-dominant hand with wet nail polish later, which can lead to all sorts of mistakes, smudges and streaks. 

TIP 4: Don’t Skip a Base Coat 

“Streaking happens when polish is poorly applied or you’re using a poor formula,” says Elle. “To avoid this, always start with clean, dry nails and do not skip a base coat!” We recommend the Essie Here to Stay Base Coat, which applies smoothly and helps your color last longer.
essie base coat

TIP 5: Try the Three-Strokes Method

When doing a DIY manicure, Elle recommends using the three-stroke method for an easy, smooth application. “Try applying one stroke down the middle, then one stroke on the left side and one on the right,” she says. This will help ensure that the color is applied evenly and reduce the chances for streaking to occur. 
Photo: Jonet Williamson

Read more



Back to top