Nail Art 101: Before You Begin

Nyan Cat NailsHand model: Ellen Zhao
By Maria Kuznetsov, DiY/Guides Staff Writer
Hand model: Ellen Zhao

This is the beginning of a series. Subsequent articles will introduce more nail art topics, ideas, and tutorials.

First things first. In order to make your nail art last longer and damage your nails less, prime your nails by painting them with base coat, followed by the color, and lastly, top coat.

Many people face difficulty painting their dominant hand. There are a few ways to get around this.

Avoidance: someone else paints your nails, or  you don’t even paint your dominant hand. But if do want to paint your nails yourself:   practice and slow down.

Raise your hand:  It can also be easier to paint if you raise your dominant hand by placing it on a few books.

Simplify: Simplifying the nail art on your dominant hand will lead to less frustration, as well.

In the end, though, a cotton swab and nail polish remover can fix sloppy nails.

How to clean up your nails:

A cotton swab, dipped in either non-acetone remover or acetone can clean up nail polish not on the nail. Just dip the swab and sweep it around the nail, making sure to get the cuticle. For messier manicures, you may want to take some lotion or Chapstick and coat the area around the nail. Avoid getting it on your nails, though – nail polish will peel off oily or wet surfaces, so make sure your nails are clean and dry before starting anything.

About the Author

Maria Kuznetsov
Maria looks forward to being an Acronym section editor this year! Maria is the vice president of Spectrum, as well as the Studio 1500 senior representative, a peer tutor, and an SCS member. Her hobbies include ballet, nail art, and sewing. She can be found, dressed unconventionally and taking photos, in 01B wing. Email:

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