Trust us, we’ve seen a lot of manicures in our day. And with all the neon colors, jumbo stamps, holo glitters, and insane water marbling techniques out there to try, it’s sometime easy for even talented nail artists to look past the less flashy essentials of a good manicure. Want to easily improve your Instagram nail art game tenfold? Check to see if you’re unknowingly making one of these mistakes and fix it right away.
1. Cuticles are as important as the nails themselves
Even the most jaw-dropping nail art looks less than stellar when it’s alongside rough and ragged cuticles. Make sure to apply cuticle oil not only after every fresh manicure, but a few times a day as well. Also, about fifteen minutes before you photograph your nails, apply cuticle oil and then immediately wipe it off. While you don’t want dry cuticles, you also don’t want ones that look wet and greasy. Hey – being on camera all the time means a lot of upkeep, even if it is just your hands we’re talking about.
2. Stay in shape
Too frequently we see bloggers who have gorgeous designs on their nails – but half are short and round while the others are long and squared off. Pay close attention to the shape (and length) of your nails, and if they’re uneven, be sure to file them with these essential filing guidelines.
3. Fungus is a thing
…and so are other really gross finger ailments. While many nail bloggers choose to wear gloves when doing the dishes to prevent nail breakage, the hot and steamy conditions in plastic gloves are prime for fungi growth. A nail with fungus will appear white (as harmless-looking as a color it is) and can be treated with tea tree oil or a nail fungus treatment from a drugstore. Green-tinted spots are often a sign of a bacterial infection; you should soak nails in vinegar or visit a doctor if it doesn’t go away. Bluish nails could mean you aren’t getting enough oxygen; see your doctor if this happens.
4. Your online behavior and presence are just as important
Never: Comment “first like,” “f4f,” or “ugly” on someone’s photo. Let’s be adults, guys. Do: take the time to check out the work of others in the nail community you admire and leave positive comments of variety you’d like someone to leave on your photos. If you want to know what sort of base coat someone used, ask! Have discussions with other like-minded polish addicts. Trade tips. Share compliments where you feel they’re due. Soon you’ll have a whole new crop of followers who found you through your friends in the community.
5. Don’t shake!
Think of what happens when you shake a can of Coke – that’s right, you get lots and lots of bubbles! The same happens goes for polish. Violently shaking your bottles up and down will make tiny air bubbles apply in the formula, which will stay visible even after the lacquer has dried on your nails. Instead, roll the polish bottle side to side like you’re rolling dough.