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Tips for Painting Others’ Nails

I am not good at painting my nails. My friends have commented this when I paint their nails. I’ve always struggled with doing things like this on other people (I can do my own makeup but I’m really not that great at doing other people’s makeup). The different angle of the hand, a nail shape you’re not used to, it can be difficult.

However, despite all that, we have “Nail Art Sunday” in my family where my sister and cousin come over to get their nails painted by me. They bring me photos of art they’ve seen online that they want to try, and I do my very best.

One of the first things I do is to make sure I leave room by the cuticles so I don’t make any pools around their skin. A tip I have is to put the brush slightly up from where you want the polish to be, and gently push the brush closer to the cuticle to get the polish exactly where you want it to be.

Take your time, mistakes are fine

Go slow! I can paint my own nails pretty fast, but when I’m doing someone else’s nails, I have to go much slower. Also, use a small amount of polish on the brush. By going slower and having less product, it gives you much more control. If you accidentally paint their skin, it’s not a big deal, a quick swipe with a toothpick while it’s still wet will help with that.

Use a silicone mat or a plastic bag to make decals before placing them on your friend’s nails. I’ve mentioned this technique before in another blog post, but this is a lifesaver if you want to do something more intricate. Many of my friends have shorter nails, and it’s always hard to get cool designs on such a tint surface. This way, you can practice on a flat surface and perfect it. If this trick is unfamiliar to you, all you do is paint directly onto your mat or Ziploc baggy, make your designs, let it dry for a few minutes, then put a clear coat over it and let that dry. After about 15 minutes, you should be able to peel it up and stick it right on the nail! Just trim the edges and use acetone to bind it to the nail.

Lastly, get supportive friends! Make sure they cheer you on because you’re trying your best. Even if it looked like a “Nailed It” fail photo (which I’ve definitely been there).

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