For a ‘ladies night’ at our church, my friend Paula hosted a nail painting party. She prepared a great spread of fruits and veggies and sweets, and we all created our own pizzas. Then we grabbed nail supplies and she gave us tips.
Paula’s parents used to own several nail salons, and when she was a teenager she spent the required 600 hours in school to get her own nail technician license so she could work in their salon. It was a great way for her to earn money, but after going to college she focused on other endeavors. She has not lost any of the skill, though, and the girls in the church have been bugging her for a while to teach about painting nails. Here is the basic process – her nail painting tips – we learned:
1. Soften your cuticles by soaking your fingers in warm water
2. Apply a cuticle softener solution
3. Push back cuticles with a “cuticle pusher” tool
4. Buff the cuticles/nails, three times on the left side of the nail, the middle, and the right
5. Apply cuticle oil
6. Wash hands, scrub the oil off
7. File your nails into shape
8. Apply base coat (this is important to prevent discoloration and to keep the nail color from chipping)
9. Apply two coats of color (try to curve the brush, making the brush fan out, covering the nail in as few strokes as possible)
10. Apply a topcoat
11. Clean the edges (we used a paintbrush dipped in acetone to help)
12. Allow to dry (let it dry completely if you want to minimize chipping)
* For nails to really dry, they need about 45 minutes (or 15 minutes under salon lamps).
* Nail technicians generally get to keep 60% of what you pay for their services.
* When filing nails, it is best to start on the side and brush down once or twice at an angle, do the other side, and then round off the tips.
* Cutting off cuticles will end up making them grow even more. Instead, it is better to push cuticles back and then buff them.
* You can buy nail polish thinner solution to add to older or thickened nail polishes to help them go on smoother.
I am sure I missed a few details, but this was great information for someone as inexperienced as me! Just for fun, Paula added a few rhinestones to some of our nails. Thanks for the party, Paula, and thanks for passing along your knowledge!