Let’s face it, painting your nails is certainly a learned skill and only a few mutant (quite amazing really) women are able to nail the perfect manicure with little experience. It’s been years of practice for me, and I still have my share of trials.

My secret to nailing the perfect manicure, though, is the cleanup! So, let me break it down for you.

The Painting Part

Painting my nails is actually quite relaxing. As a busy work-at-home-mom, I usually set aside time when my kiddos are at school or in bed, and I make sure I won’t need to wash my hands, sleep, or fold laundry until my manicure is completely cured. Drying takes just a few minutes, but all polishes need a few hours to completely cure.

I like to go with the simple 4 stroke method (middle, side, side, middle) and make sure my brush isn’t loaded with polish. Watch the video. Thin coats will give you a better finished look and help your polish last longer. Remember, when painting your nails, the brush should never touch your cuticle… but if it does, don’t worry!

The Cleaning Part

This is the most crucial step in getting that pristine mani and will save your mani if you’ve accidentally swiped polish on your cuticles. Using a cheap nail art brush dipped in acid-free non-acetone polish remover, preferably one like ours with aloe, gently wipe away the excess polish. Follow the curve of your cuticle to achieve the ideal results.

The specific type of brush you use doesn’t matter as long as it is thin and made for nail art. This will ensure that the bristles don’t dissolve or fall out during use, as nail art brushes are made to come in contact with nail products. I personally prefer ones that are small with a rounded tip.

Once you’re finished cleaning up your cuticles, apply a top coat, let it dry, and swipe on some cuticle oil to moisturize those babies for nails that are totally ready for your next mani selfie.

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