Friday, March 7

The Art of Nail Painting

I have a bit of O.C.D. It only shows itself in a few aspects of my life. One- the organization and color coding of my closet. Two- the painting and maintenance of my toes.The art of nail painting is one that takes much patience and skill to master. Previously I discussed my problem with coloring my hair. This problem is twenty times worse. I have been known to redo my nails four times in a sitting and then changing them again the next day. In one week, I have probably painted my nails 20+ times. If they aren't perfect, I'll change them. Although this makes me psycho, I sure have pretty toes. This is an obsession that I have definitely made into an art.

It starts with a base coat. It needs to be thin and not old and goopy. If you start to see it string when you brush it, THROW IT AWAY! I probably replace my base coat every three to four months... Buy the cheap stuff. You throw it away so often and there isn't much difference between the cheap Sally Hansen and an expensive salon brand.

After the base coat is dry, apply one coat of good quality nail polish. I love to use OPI and China Glaze*. After this has dried (2-3 mins) apply a second coat. Load your brush with enough polish. You can always clean it up with a Q-tip afterwords. If you don't have enough paint, you'll get streak marks where the dry brush pulls on the first coat of polish. *Good polish can get expensive. It's typical to spend $7.50 on the salon quality brands. They really are better. They last much longer and don't chip (unless you use then on your fingernails in which case, everything will chip eventually). If you want to find a bargain on the polishes, look on ebay, in the clearance at Ulta, or let me know what color you'd like- because of my esthetician license, I can get all salon products at close to cost.
Finally, after the second coat has dried, apply the top coat. My FAVORITE is called Seche Vite. You can find lots of places- even at Sally's Beauty Supply. Again, use enough on the brush. It will create a beautiful shine over the nail and will dry it faster than the air. It also prevents chipping.

Throughout this process: DO NOT TOUCH YOUR NAILS WITH YOUR FINGERS TO SEE IF THEY'RE DRY. Assume they aren't. They won't be totally cured for about twenty minutes. Even then, I wouldn't put on your shoes for at least an hour. TWO COATS OF COLOR TYPICALLY WILL DO. If you MUST use three, wait until the second coat is REALLY dry and then let your nails dry even longer after applying the top coat. Thick things take longer to dry through. Be willing to practice. Be willing to mess up. There's this great stuff called nail polish remover that takes away all mistakes (unless you're using red polish- then it will leave your fingers and toes and nails pink). When all else fails, get a pedicure. has great pictures of what can be created!


Audrey said...

That was intense. It made me just wish you would come over and give me a fabulous pedicure.

Sarah Jayne said...

Those aren't your fingers are they? I, for one, am all for the toenails being pretty whilst the fingernails remain natural. How in the world can anyone do anything with nails like that?!

Good info on the process...very thorough. Sounds like you've really had lots of practice :).

Bethany said...

You would be horrified if you saw my toenails.