How To Not Suck At Painting Your Own Nails

I have to share a beauty editor shame point: I suck at painting my own nails.
Publish date:
March 14, 2013
nails, cute nails, nail artists

You know, I have to share a beauty editor shame point: I suck at painting my own nails.

No, REALLY. There are certain things I can do without even blinking an eyelash as part of my profession. I can blow my own hair out to mimic professional results. I can give myself a fantastic makeup job, I can even pop a pimple without drawing blood or scarring. But, the thing I struggle with is painting my own nails.

I can get a good basic two coats on semi-okay, but nail art is a level to which I cannot ascend. I’m a manicure yellow belt at best.

So, when I recently attend an event with celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi, she of the many runway styles and manicures-we-copy-for-years, and she taught me how to do this super-sweet manicure, I have to say that my life was changed, altered and will never be the same when it comes to my nails.

Because, lo and behold, you CAN do this rock star manicure for yourself at home and it is the BUSINESS. Break out the textbooks and the locker combinations because I’m about to school you the way Jin schooled me.

Since this mad-cool mani was explained to me at the launch of Jin’s amazing new spring line, A La Mode, and since the colors are the perfect hues for pairing with this super sweet manicure (the line is inspired by botanical garden flowers and named by current runway model superstars and their favorites) we’ll just repeat this amazing mani step by step for you.

The trick with Jin’s amazing polishes is the brush (not to mention the mind-blowing formula, which is gorgeous, high shine and practically bulletproof), which is angled so you can get a really precise application of the polish. Again, you nail art gurus can use your own brushes, but for those of us who are Polish Impaired, these polishes are kind of mandatory.

Here’s how it goes down:

1. Start with clean, dry nails that are already shaped. Mine are slightly rounded, but feel free to rock this on any shape you want. Jin created this look for Prabal Gurung’s Fall 2013 runway with a long, oval nail.

2. Pick your two colors. Apply two coats of the base color (as in, paint one coat on one hand, give it a minute, then apply the second coat). Allow the second coat to set for about a minute.

3. Take the polish brush that contains your second coat (make sure it’s wet with polish but not dripping.) Place the brush at the base of the nail and simply sweep up from the end to the middle at a diagonal so it creates an angle from one end of the base to the tip. Repeat this motion on the other side of the nail so you can only see a sliver of the base coat. Repeat this process for each nail on your hand. Go over what you’ve just painted a second time so the polish becomes opaque.

4. Clean any excess polish with an old, thin makeup brush (NEVER throw them away for this reason) or an angled cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover.

5. Seal the look with a clear top coat and allow to dry.

And that, my friends, is the coolest manicure out there. Check it.

OK, so let’s discuss. Are you manicure-challenged or are you a Manicure Master? Nail art or no nail art? Bright polish, nudes or anything goes? Let’s nail it down in the comments section.