Tuesday, May 19, 2009


After reading a really great tip on Dee'z Nail'z blog about using Vaseline to help keep your nail sides clean while painting, I thought I would do a post on what I do.

I read about this method some time ago and it is my absolute favorite way to clean up after a mani. I completely forgot where I found this tip at, so if it was your blog, please let me know!

Before I start though, I want to share a little tip about painting your nails. I used to make sure that nail polish covered every single little bit of my nail. When I started checking the nail blogs I found that all of the pictures I saw looked absolutely flawless! I couldn't figure out how come I couldn't get my nails to look that way when I painted them. I thought maybe they had some cool method for cleaning up their nails afterward that I was missing. So I tried to clean mine up, but they still looked messy. It finally dawned on me!! I don't have to paint ALL THE WAY up to my cuticles and ALL THE WAY over to the sides of my nails!!! The trick is to get AS CLOSE as you can without actually touching your cuticle or nail sides. It has made a 100% positive change in how my manis completed look.
The picture above demonstrates how I applied the nail polish as close as possible without touching the cuticles or sides.

Of course, accidents will happen and that is where this method of accident removal has been my saving grace.

You need Acetone, cotton & orange wood stick.

Pinch off a small amount of cotton.

Take the cotton and wrap it around the orange wood stick. You don't want this to be thick, remove some of the cotton if it is thick.

This is what it should look like.

Dip it into the acetone. I prefer pure acetone for very quick removal.

Touching only the skin, remove the nail polish mistake.

This is not only a very good way to remove mistakes, but it sure beats spending money on those pricey corrector pens.

Just remember, when using this method on darker nail polish or for lots of mistakes, you may need to change your cotton tip. This gets dirty and ends up just spreading the polish around. Removing the cotton tip here is also something you can't do with those corrector pens either!


Nina said...

i heard another good way to clean up nails is to use vaseline on the cuticle and then paint your nails, apparently the nail polish will that gets on the skin around your nail will just wipe away.
pretty neat :]

btw i love that orange! so pretty <3

Jamie said...

Nice tip, Brooke. :-)

Unfortunately, I really prefer to have polish over my whole nail - it looks unfinished to me if it's not all the way to the cuticle and sides (or like it's wearing off). Since I wear my polish for a week, gotta have full coverage for myself.

But the shower cleaning method works pretty well for me. I get better every time. If only I could wear my glasses in the shower...

Beautiful orange polish! I love that!

Lucy said...

You do such a beautiful job putting on polish. I noticed that everyone didn't cover the whole nail. Isn't it hard to paint them so neatly without touching the cuticle? I've always used the orange stick method. I've had the cuticle pens but they just didn't do the job. Plus the tips would get messey.

Deez Nailz said...

This is an awesome post, with good pictures, too. I remember buying a fancy-pants corrector pen and it didn't help at all!

I too used to try to get polish on every bit of my nails but now paint just shy of my cuticles and sides of my nail.

I have a really good 100% pure acetone remover too, it makes cuticle clean-up super easy.

Nora said...

Thanks Brooke this is super helpful!

Violet LeBeaux said...

I've always wondered about not putting the polish to the cuticle... but I think it would bother me that it wasn't all over. Yours always look so perfect though!
Hmm I might give this a try anyway. Thanks for the tip :D

adorepink said...

I try and use this method too...this is hard for me. I havent really found a method that really works for me and that is easier to do :-(
Great tutorial though!

Rai said...

Oooh this is a good idea.
I "attempt" to use Qtips to fix my nail errors... lol

OMG! And what is the color on your nails? It's so pretty!

Brooke said...

NINA - I haven't tried the vaseline, I don't think I have any is why.

JAMIE - I hear ya! It realy doesn't bother me because I guess I got used to it. I say use what works for you! lol

LUCY - It is actually easier than I thought it would be.

DEE'Z - I think I bought one of those pens once, and learned my lesson about the tips getting messy.

NORA - No prob. I hoped it helped someone.

VIOLET - It really isn't bothersome to me, as long as you get it close enough. It is pretty easy, you should at least give it a try and see if you like it.

ADOREPINK - Well hopefully you will come up with something that works for you! There has to be something :) Maybe try the vaseline trick!

RAI - The q-tips are too big, that's the problem with those.

It is two sinful colors. The base is an orange one - Big Daddy or something like that. Then I used UFO to top it off, another sinful colors polish.

Helen said...

Great tips there (hehe a little pun for you).

I'm with Jamie on the all-over coverage and shower method. It does mean you can't paint them just before you go out though so I'll definitely be adopting this for an evening clean-up routine.

MrsKiwiYeti said...

Great subject! I do the same as you, but a little different. I use the wooden orange sticks, and a jar of nail polish remover that has the finger hole sponge in it. No cotton on the orange stick. I put the stick in the jar in the hole in the sponge. I pull it out and run the stick around where I need to take polish off. Then I put it back in the jar, and it's standing up, ready to go for the next finger. The wood of the stick seems to soak up just enough of the polish remover. Sometimes I use the opposite end of the stick that I just stuck in the remover -- just depends if I'm getting too much remover.

MrsKiwiYeti said...

Does any of that make any sense??? lol

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