Thursday, April 16, 2015

Every Girl Link-Up || Nail Polish Tips & Tricks

Nail Polish Tips & Tricks

I get so excited for Every Girl Link-Up days! Astleigh and I are writing all about nail polish today--advice, tips, techniques, and tricks to perfecting the art of an at-home manicure!

Last month, I wrote a post about my favorite colors of polish—specifically Essie and Sally Hansen shades. Today, I’m focusing more on the details of how I paint my nails. 

There are FOUR important things I do when I paint my nails:

1. I like to paint my nails before I go to bed at night. If I paint them while the boys are still awake, it’s inevitable that one of them will need me to pick them up or help them with something soon after, which might ruin the job. Clicking in carseats, giving baths, opening food containers—all wreak havoc on newly-painted nails. If I paint them and let them dry right before I climb into bed, I don’t smudge the polish in my sleep.

2. I use nail polish in a well-ventilated spot. Even in the middle of winter, I crack open my bathroom window. In summer, I paint my nails on the back porch. I love nail polish, but I don’t want to be inhaling strong chemicals.

3. Three coats of polish are better than two! I also apply a new layer of top coat every other day to help the manicure last longer!

4. I wrap the brush around the tips of the nails. If I paint the tips, my nails and surrounding skin get a little messier, but it keeps them from chipping too soon.

When I was at Walmart the other day, there was a huge display of "Sinful" polish colors. Most of them were BEAUTIFUL! I hadn’t bought a Sinful shade since before high school. But after last month’s post, a lot of my blogging friends recommended Sinful! How could I not give it a try with the $1.96 price tag? I could buy four Sinful polishes for less than the price of the one turquoise Essie that I had on my mind! The fourth polish is “Salon Perfect” brand, and it was $4. I had several different gold flecked top coats in my hand to decide between, but this one was exactly what I was looking for.

Nail Polish Tips & Tricks
Nail Polish Tips & Tricks

Turquoise is my absolute favorite color, so I tried it out right when I got home from the store. I did two coats of “Mint Apple” on my nails, and then I finished with a top coat of “Fool’s Gold”. The camera didn’t focus well on the gold glitter, but it has both big hexagon flecks and tiny dot flecks in it. I had thought about doing the glitter only on the base of the nail for a gradient effect, but my nails aren’t very long, so it was much easier to paint the full nail with glitter. The glitter really made my nails look fancy, and they have a “Robin’s Egg” appearance. :)

Nail Polish Tips & TricksNail Polish Tips & Tricks

Using these two polishes, I tried a different technique. I painted my nails with two coats of “Snow Me White” and let them dry for an hour. Then I put a small strip of scotch tape diagonally across the bottom of each nail. I pressed the tape down, and I painted “Thimbleberry” on the tops of the nails. I was skeptical that peeling the tape off would pull off the white polish, but it turned out awesome--a perfect line!

Nail Polish Tips & Tricks

I treat my toenails a little bit differently than my fingernails. For some reason, my two big toenails always break off at the corners. Because of this, I am super prone to ingrown toenails on my big toes, and I have to be careful. About once a month, I soak my feet in a mixture of hot water and Epsom salt. It’s so much easier to cut toenails when they’re soft. I file my two big toenails down so they don’t split, and I use clippers for the other eight. After that, I love using Bath & Body Works’ “True Blue Cracked Heel Treatment”. I put it all over my feet, push my cuticles back, and cover them with socks overnight. The treatment really improves the appearance of my dry winter feet (and makes them so soft!)

Nail Polish Tips & TricksNail Polish Tips & Tricks

Before I paint my toes, I use this Sally Hansen “Green Tea + Bamboo Strengthener”. I’m not sure if it helps my toenails from chipping off, but it’s worth being proactive about it! :) I paint my toes with two coats of polish, and I love how long toenail polish lasts!

If you have a nail polish post to share with us, grab our graphic, paste it into your post, then link-up below! I can't wait to glean more tips from your posts!
Hill Collection

If you don't want to miss future Every Girl Link-Ups, shoot an email to, and we'll send you reminder e-mails about upcoming post dates!

Click on the photo below to read the post I wrote about my collection of Essie shades!


See you tomorrow for "Friday Favorites" and a giveaway!!


  1. I get ingrown toenails too and its awful! I've gotten them surgically removed three times but they have still come back:( I just have to wear shoes that are loose around the toe area and that seems to help. Thanks for hosting the link up!

  2. I love the Mint Apple with the gold glitter. So fun! I don't have a turquoise polish in my collection...I need to add it ASAP. Thanks for the suggestions!

  3. I love the way the gold flecks turned out over the mint apple! And I need to try the water/epsom salt saok followed by the heel cream!

  4. Hi Rachel - I used to be a (finger) nail polish user, but I had to stop when I spent too much time chipping and peeling the polish off, and ruining my actual nails. One of these days I might go back to a neutral/natural polish - if it can survive the abuse of frequent hand washing AND keyboarding.

    Thanks for mentioning using proper ventilation when using nail polish/remover products. I'm pasting in a link for a recent tragic report of using remover close to an open flame - it badly burned a woman in Texas. Please tell "your girls" to be careful!

  5. Nails! Girl you know I love this post! I linked my old post on nails, but it's definitely in need of some updating! It's funny reading old posts from long ago and seeing how much I've changed. Sinful colors are the best. I like Essie too if I find a color I REALLY want. Love the tape idea. I'm going to have to try it. How awesome. Thanks for the idea!

  6. I'm all about glitter polish right. Now. And I need to try that sinful brand. What a great price Loved linking up today


Thank you so much for your comments! I enjoy reading each one!


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