How can you avoid smudges with a DIY nail polish job?

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Answered by: Chanel, An Expert in the Beauty - General Category
Picture this! In the do-it-yourself spirit, you’ve painted on your favorite fall nail color, inspired by the trendy hues seen on the pages of your favorite glossy magazine.

You even managed to paint the left and right hand perfectly. Now you’ve entered the unavoidable struggle to keep your hands still long enough for the lacquer to harden and dry.



Tired of smudging, smearing and just plain ruining that paint job it took you limitless amounts of concentration to create? Fidget no more, you restless multitasker! Eliminate common nail hazards before you start your at-home manicure and avoid the heartache caused by unsightly smudges and time-consuming retakes.

Give your hands a rest with these tips and give nails the time they need to dry fully for a DIY manicure so perfect even the pros will envy.



Tip # 1: Turn your next home manicure into an exercise in mindfulness by spending some uninterrupted time getting glam, sans cell phone! That’s right, it’s okay to ignore your cell phone for an hour or less. Your Twitter followers won’t mind.

Tip # 2: Time and again nature conveniently calls after you’ve started painting. Next time, go to the restroom in advance (if possible) and wear pants with an elastic waistband and no zippers or buttons to avoid a snafu. The fashion gods will forgive your sin of sweatpants in the name of perfect nails.

Tip # 3: Step away from the car keys! Run all your errands beforehand so you don’t wind up with a key print design atop your fresh nail hue.

Tip # 4: Polish long before bedtime to make sure your case of the nighttime nods doesn’t get the best of your paint job.

A fast and easy alternative to the DIY nail polish job are polish strips.

Nail polish strips have been popping up on beauty shelves everywhere and are getting cuter and cuter with each rendition. I'm all for beauty shortcuts and this trend is sure to save you dry time and cash, plus give you a perfectly manicured look. Application is simple: find the strip that best fits each nail, remove the polish strip from its plastic protector, and affix it to your nail slightly above the cuticle, applying pressure to make sure it's flat and snug. Next, simply tear off the excess. A nail file helps. No top coat needed! I picked up a pack of Sephora Collection Nail Patch Art in Chinese Blossom and felt super femme after just 15 minutes. This was my first run with Sephora's polish strips, but other brands I've tried lasted a full week.

Most packs come with extras -- I like to use the largest extra strips on my big toe and paint the other little piglets a complimentary color. I definitely recommend taking a break from polish with this fun DIY nail polish alternative. Not only will you completely eliminate the possibility of smudging your manicure before you've even had a chance to show it off, but there are so many brands and designs to choose from that you'll never get bored.

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