If you are going to cut your cuticle, make sure you have a good quality cuticle nipper which cuts and doesn’t tear. Tearing the cuticle is painful.If you have been using your oil daily, the cuticle should be healthy and moist, making it easy to push back and not necessary to cut. It is important to realize that hand cream does not penetrate the nails or cuticles as the molecules are too big. You need the correct product for the job required.

So – now that you have nicely shaped nails which are oiled and treated, cuticles that are pushed and tidied – you are ready to start applying colour. We’ve already talked about the colour trends this season in previous posts, so much to choose from.

Start by using light colours that will not show all your mistakes if you are not used to painting your own nails. Reds and blues can look terrible when not applied correctly.

What you need: (20 mins)

  • White vinegar
  • A cuticle stick, polish remover, cotton wool.
  • A good, fresh base coat
  • A good quality, fresh top coat
  • A fresh nail polish

1. Get a piece of cotton wool and wet it with vinegar. Use this to clean the nail by rubbing over the surface as though you were removing nail polish. This helps to dehydrate the nail plate and remove some of the natural oils so that you get good adhesion of your base coat to the nail.

2. Apply base coat. The product must be fresh… and by this I mean, not an old bottle that has been opened and closed a hundred times :) If the product is thick and sticky, it won’t dry – so throw away old bottles and replace with fresh ones that do the job. Invest in a quality, professional level base coat. A good base coat gives longer life to the polish. When you apply this layer, make sure you ‘seal’ in the free edge helping to prevent water from being absorbed by the nail.

3. Allow the base coat to dry well… This should not take too long.

4. Apply a thin coat of the colour of choice. Do not touch the cuticle or the skin surrounding the nail with the colour. If you do have an accident, you can clean it up using the cuticle stick with some cotton wool soaked in polish remover wrapped around one end. Seal in the free edge with the colour and allow time for this layer to dry well. Again, it shouldn’t take too long unless it’s very humid, in which case you’ll need to wait…

5. Apply the second layera little thicker than the first and allow ten minutes for drying. Remember to use the cuticle stick to clean up any mess or spill on the skin. You want to have sharp clean edges to your polish, making your nails look smart. Badly applied polish is the worst thing. Applying polish correctly is an art to master… get your friend to apply it for you, maybe a polish party once a week :)

6. When the colour has dried, apply the top coat not forgetting to seal in the free edge. This gives a nice long-lasting shine to the colour and also a layer of protection. A good ten minutes are required for drying and a ‘Drop Dry’ product can be used to help the process.

7. Apply another layer of top coat every other day, don’t forget to allow drying time before touching anything.

8. When you’re ready, apply some cuticle oil to the cuticle and you’re done!


They should last up to 7 days if you’re lucky