Friday, 23 December 2011

Lessons Learned - less is more

An experiment in polishing.

When I first started doing my nails oh so long ago (hah! A whole two months...) this was what I'd start with on my brush:

I'd also try my best to get every bit of bare nail, from the cuticle to the edges. This was the result. Yuck! No wonder I spent more time on clean up than on actually polishing my nails:

Then I started clueing in to the fact that hey, you don't need to go super close to the nail edges! But I was still loading up my brush. You can see here how thick and uneven the polish is after one (yes one!) coat.

I finally realised that hey, less is more, and I could always go back to the polish bottle if necessary. Here's what my brushes look like now - notice the lack of a big gob of polish hanging off the end!

And the end result of three thin coats of Nicole by OPI Razzle Dazzle.

I still haven't perfected the super clean, super rounded edge that so many experienced polish pros can do, but I'm working on it!

Another lesson I've learned: ditch the cotton balls! I almost always end up with little strings of cotton hanging off my nails, which make a huge mess. I've switched to cotton pads instead. Some people can make cotton balls work, but I just can't seem to do it. You can see a bit of cotton hanging off in the next picture.

The other thing I still tend to do is rush my manicures. I get impatient, and start painting my nails quickly. Of course when I do that, I end up with small smudges around the edges of my nails, not from flooding, but because I bang the brush into them. This is two coats of China Glaze Icicle from the Christmas collection.

I'm getting better at slowing down, but I still screw up, especially on my second (and sometimes third) coat.

Basic steps for success in painting nails:

- take it slow! You'll end up wasting the time later cleaning up messy edges if you don't.
- don't load your brush with too much polish. You can go back for more, but cleaning up the excess is a PAIN.
- keep the brush clear from your cuticles and edges - it'll look cleaner, and reduce clean up time overall.
- replace cotton balls with cotton pads if you have trouble with bits of cotton hanging off your nails, which I always do.

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