Is there anything worse than spending what seems like hours perfecting your DIY manicure, only to have it come apart in seconds when you accidentally tap your pinky against the counter?
Actually, yes. You could spend even more time removing your nail polish and starting from the beginning when all of that jazz really isn’t even necessary.
Celebrity manicurist Elle, who has worked her magic on the gorgeous hands of stars like Angelina Jolie and Blake Lively, is here to save the day (and loads of time) with 5 tips on how to quickly fix that smudged nail and get on with your life.
1. Beware of quick-drying polish. “To avoid a smudge in the first place, don’t assume that every nail polish is going to dry the same way in the same amount time,” Elle says. “You can never really know how long your nails will take to dry because there are numerous factors behind drying time, such as the temperature inside and outside, humidity, the product, the color, the prep time, etc. While your nails are typically set to touch within an hour or so, the drying time is fully cured in about 24 hours, which makes the first 24 hours of your manicure the most imperative!”
2. Prep your nails before you polish them. You probably wouldn’t shave your legs without applying shaving cream first because ouch. The same rule applies when polishing your nails–prepping them is everything and will prevent smudges. “Make sure your nails are cleaned correctly before applying polish,” Elle says. “I recommend Dermelect’s IMMACULATE Nail Cleanse Prep because removing oil and residue from the nail properly before polishing is key for a good base for your polish. Prepping your nails also helps with the drying process.”
3. Use the nail polish brush. Don’t even think of reaching for the nail polish remover as your first step out of smudge-ville. Not when there are other, much quicker options. “If you smudge a nail, dry the brush to remove any excess polish, dip it in a little bit of the polish and stroke over the mistake,” Elle says. “This should blend and mend. Then follow up with top coat.”
4. Make your top coat work for you. Top coats do more than protect your nail polish shade after it has been applied; this clear polish can also be used to fix small mistakes. “If the smudge is not too deep and if you are using a top coat, you can re-wet with the top coat to smooth it out,” Elle says.
5. Think twice about metallics. Metallic nail polish is off-the-charts hot this season. Unfortunately, if you smudge your beautiful bronze nail, it almost certainly means you’ll be spending a few more minutes on your mani. “Metallics usually require a do-over when it comes to smudging,” Elle says. “It breaks the lines and they never look repaired, so unfortunately, you have to start over with a clean slate.”
For more beauty tips, check out 8 brands that make nail polish that’s actually good for your nails and are gel manicures really that bad for your nails?
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[Photo: Peace Love Shea]