Nail Polish Perfection

Does you nail polish chip within hours? Does it look terrible, like you can't color in the lines? There are solutions for these problems. Remember, these chemicals are dangerous; use in well ventilated areas, preferably outside.

Get you materials ready: polish, remove, hair dryer, file, clippers, cotton pads, maybe a tray for them all. Find a place you will be comfortable for a while. Set any communication devices to answer calls automatically. Buy acetone remover. It's nasty stuff; use it outside. It was only $.99 plus tax at CVS.

1. Wash hands well with detergent and water, dry.

2. Clip and file nails to shape you wish. Don't buff with a file on top of nails. It will remove the thickness of the nail and make nails break more easily.

3. Push cuticles back gently, clip hang nails, but never cut cuticle. The best tool to push cuticles is your own thumb nail.

4. With a non-fuzzy pad, clean nails with nail polish remover. It is important to get all oils and residue off nails.

5. Apply very thin coat of polish. This is the most important point. I have used polish straight from the bottle, only to get thick coats that take 15-20 minutes to dry, lots of time to hit objects and make a mess of things. Hopefully you have saved old bottles of polish and can use those to keep a bit of the color you want to use and add same quantity of acetone remover. Some people say that doing so will remove the shine, but I have not found that to be true. Perhaps there was an additive to the remover that caused a problem. Some come with "conditioners", what ever that is. You don't need a base coat. The first coat of color is your base coat. Polish the edge, too.

6. Thin coats will dry quickly. Check the smell, but don't breathe it in. Just wave one hand over the nails of the other, and sniff. Use a hair dryer or go outside, if you smell anything. Add coats until you like the effect. 3 is usually sufficient. Never add extra coats of polish until each one is dry.

7. If you get polish on you skin around the nails, don't worry. Polish is not designed to stick to skin. When it's dry, you can wash your hands and, eventually, it will come off your skin. If you don't want to wait, you can try, with a cue-tip, putting baby oil on the skin around the nails before polishing them, but don't let get on your nails. I don't think I'd have the patients for this.

8. Finish with a clear top coat, including the edge. This will protect from chipping. I just did my nails this way, and no chipping while typing!

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