How To Apply Nail Polish

We all want salon perfect nails but let’s be real, we don’t always have the time to go for a manicure so here at ORLY we’ve put together the following fool-proof tips teaching you how to apply nail polish like a pro.

Get prepped

Generally, the key to applying nail polish neatly and accurately is nailing the prep. 

  1. Remove old nail polish from your nails – any left-over polish will produce unsightly bumps in the nail and leave your polish more prone to chipping and peeling so use ORLY Genius Remover and a cotton pad to get old polish gone
  2. File and buff your nails using our range of ORLY nail files – not only will this give your at-home-manicure a neat, professional look but by buffing the nail you’re smoothing out any bumps and ridges so your nail polish will apply like a dream
  3. Remove, tidy and push back cuticles using ORLY Cutique, our best-selling cuticle & stain remover and the ORLY Cuticle Pusher
  4. Cleanse your skin and nails before applying nail polish – grease, oils and product on the nails can prevent the nail polish from bonding to the nail so will cause peeling. Not what we want! ORLY Clean Prep is the perfect pre-mani cleansing spray

It’s all about the base

A lot of people ask us how to apply nail polish to stop chipping and peeling and often they’re forgetting about base coat, and it really IS all about the base!

Nail polish base coat acts as double sided sticky tape on the nail, it adheres to your nail plate and gives your nail polish something to stick to. ORLY Bonder is loved by nail techs worldwide. The rubberised base coat grips polish to the nail using cutting-edge resin technology for ultimate staying power.

Three is just enough

When it comes to applying nail polish perfectly, you only need three strokes of the brush to cover your nail. Start near the cuticle in the middle of the nail plate with your first stroke and paint to the free edge. Our 600-bristle Genius Brush hugs the cuticle, so no more-harsh straight lines at the cuticle. Follow it with two strokes, from cuticle to free edge, to the left and then to the right. Be careful not to overload the brush, nail polish layers that are too thick result in waiting forever to dry, bubbling and peeling.

Top tip: instead of painting right up to the cuticle and side wall leave a tiny gap (probably a few millimetres). This will stop you getting polish on the skin, give you a professional finish and make your nails appear longer. If you do get nail polish on your skin wipe it off quickly using an old lip brush, cotton bud or a cocktail stick.

Seal the deal

Just as base coat is super important, topcoat is a must! If you want nail polish to last longer, to resist chipping and to look salon-perfect you have to finish with a topcoat.

Wait until your nail polish is fully dry and apply your topcoat. We have a large range of nail polish topcoats, ORLY Glosser Topcoat gives you a high shine finish, while ORLY Won’t Chip Topcoat helps to prevent your nail polish from chipping and peeling. ORLY Polishield is a quick-drying topcoat that contains UV filters to prevent nail colour from fading, perfect for those summer holidays.

Keep up the care

Now, caring for your nails doesn’t have to be a chore but don’t neglect them. Use a cuticle oil every day to moisturise, promote nail growth and improve the appearance of dry cuticles. ORLY Cuticle Oil+ not only cares for your cuticles, but it smells incredible.

It also goes without saying that if you’re working your hands hard, doing the dishes, DIY or general nail-ruining activities you need to protect your nails. If your hands are in water a lot, use rubber gloves.

Now you’ve got the lowdown on how to apply nail polish you don’t need to fret about missing that salon appointment. Practise makes perfect, so you might not nail the at-home mani first time but keep at it and soon people will be swooning over your beautiful nails.

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