Friday, February 10, 2012

How to NOT Stain Your Nails

Picture I’m usually a meticulously tidy polisher, but in my great excitement to swatch the OPI Holland Collection I got sloppy—and paid the price. My normally clean nails are nails are now stained an unsightly pink.

In the interest of reminding myself (and our readers), here are a few quick and easy tips to keep your nails looking neat and color-free while polishing:

Tip 1: I can’t stress enough the importance of base coat. I never, ever skip my basecoat—until yesterday. If there’s one thing I learned from my mistake, basecoat really does protect your nails. Make sure you cover your entire fingernail, getting as close to the cuticle as possible even if you don’t normally polish that close. This will help ensure that there’s no overflow from your color onto the nail itself.

Tip 2: When removing nail polish, use a different cotton pad for each finger. Yes, it sounds wasteful, but when you use the same piece of cotton for several fingers you’re spreading the old polish around the skin surrounding the nail. The result is usually a light staining of the cuticles, plus a bigger mess to clean up.

Tip 3: Did I mention to use basecoat?? Especially you’re using a darker polish.

Tip 4: Finally, try to avoid nail hardeners with formalin (formaldehyde solution—it’s not true formaldehyde) and polishes with toluene. It’s really up in the air if these are bad for your nails since there’s such a trace amount, but I’ve read that they can cause staining. I abide by the writer’s philosophy of “when in doubt, leave it out,” and this applies to my polish techniques as well. There are so many great toluene-free polishes (OPI, for example!) out there that it’s easy to find colors you love and not have to wonder if they’re bad for you.

All I can say is, lesson learned.

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