How to Apply Nail Polish Perfectly Like a Pro

Our hands are an essential part of our body, and it is the first thing people notice when we greet them. Therefore it is vital to take care of our hands and especially nails.

Just imagine how it would feel when you meet someone, and they notice your dirty or chipped nails? Not a cute sight, right?

While getting a professional manicure can require a lot of your time and money, there are some things that you can do at home to make your nails look healthy and respectable. So let’s learn how to apply nail polish and let’s master the art of applying nail polish.

Things You Will Need

how to apply nail polish

Before we begin the art of applying nail polish prepping, your nails are essential. So here are the things you will need to prep your nails.

  • Nail Polish remover.
  • Fingernails clipper.
  • A nail filer.
  • Cuticle trimmers.
  • Cotton balls.
  • A clear topcoat.
  • Any nail polish of your choice.

How To Apply Nail Polish Perfectly

Now that we have seen the required essentials let is move on to the steps on how to put on nail polish and you can achieve that perfect glossy nails.

Step 1: Prep Your Nails

Just like you prep your face before putting on makeup, it is equally crucial to prep your nails before applying nail polish.

applying nail polish

The first step is to remove any previous nail paint that you have on your nails. Use the nail polish remover and gently remove the pigment. Be sure to be gentle and not vigorously remove nail paint or else it can damage the health of your nails.

The next step would be to trim or push back any excess cuticle with the help of cuticle trimmers. This process can be a little difficult on dry nails so you can do this after a shower or you can dip your fingernails in warm water for 5-10 minutes and then do this.

The next step for applying nail polish is to clip your nails as per your desired size and also file them. Before doing this step dry your nails entirely or else your nails can chip and break. The last and final step would be to retake some nail polish remover on a cotton ball and wipe your nails to clean and prep them for nail painting.

Step 2: The Base Coat

We are all intimidated to put on a thick base coat to make our nails look pretty. The next step on how to put on nail polish has to do with the base coat. Applying a thick first coat can only extend the time of it drying up.

Also, a base coat can make your nail polish pop. So it is advised to use a white base coat to make your pigment look better. Apply thin coats as they will dry a lot faster than a coat of which gloppy coat. The base coat allows your nail paint to adhere to something, and it also prevents your actual nails from getting stained due to super pigmented nail paints.

Step 3: Just Three Strokes Are Enough

how to apply nail polish

The third step of our how to apply nail polish guide brings us the amount of how much nail polish should be used. Technically, just three strokes are all you need.

Nail artists recommend that it is best if you only use three coats to paint your nails. All you need to do is dip the brush into the polish, take out a generous amount of nail polish and place it as a dot on your nails. Then you would want to spread it out by striking it once on the left then to the right and lastly on the center.

You will be surprised to see how beautifully the nail polish spreads without being messy or gloppy.

Step 4: Additional Coats

Additional coats might sound fancy, but it is not always required. Technically two to three coats are sufficient, but if you are using a lighter color nail polish then you might need a few more coats until you get the desired color. But as mentioned above, keep your coats thin and light so that it dries up quickly and does not smudge. Also, allow your previous coat to dry before you put on the other one so that there are no dents and bumps in between.

Step 5: The Top Coat

This is another for knowing how to apply nail polish and also how to make it shiny. A clear topcoat on the top of your nail polish can make it last longer. If you find your nail polish sliding off too quickly or chipping of soon, then you might want to try to add a top coat to make your nail polish stay on your nails for quite a while.

You will only need one coat if the topcoat and make sure to spread it entirely on your nails and also along the sides of your nail polish. Also, don’t forget the tip as doing this will seal everything in and will make your nails appear more beautiful for a more extended time.

Step 6: Clean the edges

It is the final step of our guide on how to put on nail polish. Once you are done painting your nails, use a Q-tip to clean to edges for a more polished and mess-free look. Dip the q-tip in nail polish remover and very gently swipe across the sides. You will want to be very careful while you are doing this because smudging your nail polish is the last thing you would want. So be precise and Clean while doing this.

How To Make Your Nails Dry Faster

How To Make Your Nails Dry Faster

Now that you have seen the steps on how to apply nail polish we will now share some tips and tricks on how to dry your nails faster so that you do not smudge and destroy all the hard work that you have done.

Use Ice Cold Water

Dipping your nails in the ice water is the most loved technique of all time. Talking all about how to put on nail polish, how can we forget this trick. It is weird and insanely simple, and all you need is to go to your kitchen and get a bowl of water with some ice cubes. Arrange everything before you apply your nail polish and once you are done, dip your nails for about 3-5 minutes. And when you remove your fingers, you will see water dripping smoothly from your nails which is a good enough indication that it has dried.

Your Hair Dryer To Your Rescue

It may sound crazy, but your hairdryer can actually come in handy when you are looking for something to dry out your nails faster. And when we are dealing with tricks on how to apply nail polish we are going to share everything we know. The cool setting of your hairdryer is all that you need. Just set your hairdryer to the coldest setting and blow it gently over your nails for about 2-3 minutes in circular motions. But remember not to blow too close to your nails or too fast or else it will create ripples on your wet nail paint.

Use Hair Spray or Cooking Oil

Using some spritz of your favorite hair spray or cooking oil can really cut down the time of your nail polish drying. This trick for how to put on nail polish and dry it faster can really come in handy when you are in a hurry. Once you are done applying your nail polish spritz your nails with hairspray or cooking oil. And make sure to hold your cans about 30 cm away from your nails so that you do not smudge them. Wait for a few minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.

Invest In Some Drying Drops Or Sprays

Waiting for your nail polish to dry can seem like ages, and this is exactly why we have brought to you some tips and tricks on how to apply nail polish and make it dry faster. Investing in some commercial drying sprays or drops can reduce your wait time in half and will also nourish and condition your nails and your cuticles. These products not only dry up your nails a lot faster, but they also make your nails super glossy and shiny.

Use Quick Drying Products

Just like investing in quick drops and sprays, it is also a good idea to invest in some quick-drying topcoats. It is another trick in our how to put on nail polish article which is going to make your nail polish dry quicker. Investing some time and money on some top coats with quick-drying formulas comes really handy when you are in a rush and want your nails to dry quickly. Plus they also provide shine to your nails and also make your nail polish last longer. Some topcoats are also formulated in a way so that they prevent your nails from chipping.

Tips For Painting Nails

how to apply nail polish

Here are some tips you need to keep in mind before painting your nails.

  1. Use Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly along the edges of your nails to prevent your nail polish from getting all over your fingers. Once you are done applying your nail polish clean it off and all your mistakes and mess will be corrected.
  2. If you really want to master the art of how to apply nail polish, then definitely apply two base coats. Apply one coat just on the top half of your nail, let it dry, and later apply another generous coat covering your entire nail. This will prevent your nails from chipping and will make your nail polish last longer.
  3. One thing you should remember while you are learning the art of how to put on nail polish perfectly is to use white nail polish as your base coat. The natural pinkish hue of your nails can meddle with the tint of your nail polish color and therefore, it is a good idea to use white polish to make the true pigment of the nail polish pop.
  4. If you struggle with nail art and do not want to invest in a nail salon, then you can definitely try nail art stickers which are readily available. Just don’t forget to coat them with a top coat to keep them in place.
  5. You can also use tape to get the dual-tone effect, especially for a French manicure effect. Just cut the tape according to the desired shape and place it where you want to create the dual-tone effect. It is that simple and easy.
  6. You can even customize your own nail polish shade by mixing some eyeshadow pigment with some clear polish. It will allow you to create your own shade without investing a penny.

Best Nail Polish Colors That Suit Every Skin Tone

nail polish shades

Now that we have learned all about how to apply nail polish, here are some nail polish colors which suit your skin type. We all have different skin tones with different undertones, and therefore there is some course that might look good on some people, but when you try, it is not so cute. So here are some recommendations for nail polish colors according to your skin type.

  • Light skin: For people with fair and lighter skin tone colors such as pink, blues, and greens give the most flattering look. These colors have cool tones, and they match well with the cool undertones of people with fair skin.
  • Medium skin: For people with medium skin bright colors like coral orange, or pink, or even white with a hint of blue along with dark blue and some neutral shades like tan go well with the warm undertones of their skin.
  • Dark skin: People with dark skin looks best in lemon yellow, vibrant green, toffee, poppy blue, and powdery pink. These colors tend to enhance their hands, making them look fresh and bright.

Pro tip: You can go for burgundy nail polish is a universally flattering shade that looks exquisite on every skin tone.


Those were some of the tips and tricks on how to apply nail polish perfectly. Hope you liked the article and hope you will consider the recommended colors the next time you go shopping for nail paints.

2 thoughts on “How to Apply Nail Polish Perfectly Like a Pro”

  1. The Frugal Samurai

    Haha thanks for this timely post, MrsFrugalSamurai was about to go get her nails done… might send this to her so she can have a look!

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