Nail polish hacks to step up your DIY manicure game

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There’s nothing more frustrating than going to bed with freshly painted nails and waking up to find your hard work smudged and ruined. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Anyone who says they've never struggled through an at-home manicure is lying. Let's be real: painting with your not-so dominant hand is basically torture. And there’s nothing more frustrating than going to bed with freshly painted nails and waking up to find your hard work smudged and ruined. And although we enjoy pampering ourselves at the salon, there's nothing like doing the same in the comfort of your home. Here are DIY nail-polish hacks you can use to make your next attempt at pretty hands go a little more smoothly.

Start clean

To avoid the accidental mishap of polish on the skin, apply lotion or oil on your hands before polish. This will allow any excess polish to be removed easily from the lateral folds or cuticle. It will give you a perfect, clean look after polishing.

Create a cuticle shield

Take a small amount of petroleum jelly and with a Q-tip, outline your nail along the cuticle. Now apply polish, wait for it to dry, then clean it off with the same Q-tip. This will peel off any polish you may have gotten on your cuticles.

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Soak your nails in ice water

Before you start painting your nails, fill a bowl with cold water and some ice cubes. Once you have all your polish on, plunge your fingertips into the icy depths. The cold will harden the paint and speed up the drying process.

Quick dry

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Blow dry your nails to instantly dry them without chipping the colour. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

If you don't have a lot of time and need your nails quickly dried, use a blow-dryer on a high temperature and a high speed between coats. It dries really well and is smudge-free.

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Store bottles correctly

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It is important that the bottles be kept upright to prevent separation. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Store your nail polish bottles upright, and look for nail lacquers that contain no harmful toxins, such as formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin, which are commonly used to prevent the formula from separating in the bottle. Without these harmful toxins, it is important that the bottles be kept upright to prevent separation, and to shake the bottle before each use so your nail polish is as good as new.

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Layer in for luminosity

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This trick can be done with all colours. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Tired of your sheer colour going flat and dull? Use a metallic/pearly light colour first. Next, layer your favourite sheer over it as a second coat. This makes the polish shine and not lose its lustre. This trick can be done with all colours.