don’t want too much, too soon

Recently I’ve taken a liking to nail polish. Before you start judging me (or maybe you already have), I’m not talking about the “omg, I broke a nail!” kind of liking. I’m talking about the I-just-figured-out-how-to-paint-my-nails-correctly-so-that-the-polish-covers-all-of-the-nail-no-more-no-less-and-stays-shiny-for-at-least-a-week kind.

I don’t even know exactly how long this took me. I have a YouTube channel and I follow a couple of beauty gurus. When I started watching their videos, some of them would do nail tutorials, including one channel specifically dedicated to the cause. As a word artist, I appreciate visual art just as much as I do the written word, sometimes maybe even more because I am a visual learner. Watching these nail tutorials opened up a whole new nail art world to me in a way I never imagined. (I know I sound like a cliché right now, but work with me here, please.)

It was so magical to watch that I wanted to jump right in and do the prettiest design that I saw—unfortunately the prettiest design also turned out to be the most complicated one that required dotting tools, tape, multiple colors, etc. For someone whose only experience painting her nails was as a little girl (no idea how old I was) with like a 50₵ sky blue glitter bottle of polish that was bon bon size (anyone remember those from the drugstore?) trying to paint her toes in the backseat of a car on the way to a family vacation, this was bad news.

I wanted really intricate nails too fast. Needless to say, my nails did not turn out to be flawless-looking like the nails in the tutorials. They were sloppy, bubbly, colors running together and out of the lines. Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Well, I went a little insane, trying one intricate nail design after the next. Then one day, I decided to go back to the basics.

I decided to do just one color for a change. I learned that while most layers need maybe a minute tops to dry, you really should let them dry about 15 minutes or so in between to really make sure it is dry before adding another layer. Also, you want to do one coat at a time and try not to make it thick so there are no bubbles. If the color doesn’t seem dark enough after one coat, add another coat until you are satisfied, always making sure to let each coat dry for a long time in between. Once your coats are dry, then you can take a cotton swab and some nail polish remover and clean any excess polish outside of the lines.

Ta-da!

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