Monday, November 18, 2013

Nail Polish 101

So, I thought I'd share a few bits of helpful information about nail polish with you, that I have learned in this first time as a nail polish lover. Hopefully, this post can be useful information to some of you out there that want to learn some basic things about nail polish and how to paint your nails with it =)

Nail polish types
First off, I want to talk about different kinds of nail polish. So far, I've encountered a few different types of nail polish that I want to describe. Here's a quick rundown of some different types:

Creme - what I think of as "normal", opaque nail polishes. Example of a creme nail polish:

Jelly - nail polishes that are more like liquid jelly, consistency wise. When you paint your nails with a jelly nail polish, you will most likely be able to see the white tip of your natural nail underneath the color even with several coats of nailpolish. Example of a jelly nail polish:
(Source: Steph's Closet)

Glitter - as I see it, there are several types of glitter nail polish. There are glitter nail polishes that are meant to be used alone, and have both a color and glitter in them, or very much glitter so that it is opaque. Example of this kind of a glitter nail polish:
(Source: All Laquered Up)
Then you also have glitter toppers, which are clear or semi-clear nail polishes with glitter, that are meant to be used on top of a colored nail polish. Example of a glitter topper nail polish:
(Source: A Painted Nail)

Textured - lately there's been lots of nail polishes released that are based on having a sand-like texture. When these kinds of nail polishes dry, then feel and look like sand on your nail, as opposed to the normal smooth finish of most nail polishes. Example of a textured nail polish:
(Source: ProcrastiNails

Duo chrome or multi chrome - these are polishes that often look kind of metallic in their color, and that changes colors in different light or at different angles. Example of a duochrome nail polish:
(Source: The Scenic Route)
Example of a multi chrome nail polish:
(Source: Very Emily)

--- All of these pictures are used with permission ---

Oh, and if you're going to buy nail polish online, I'd suggest you google the name of the nail polish to find swatch pictures nail bloggers have taken of the color. For me it is truly helpful to see how the color actually looks on the nails, as well as learning about how easy or difficult the formula of the nail polish is to work with.
How to prepare your nail for nail polish
If you really want to paint a nice manicure on yourself, I would highly recommend preparing your nails for the nail polish. First off, file your nails to an even shape and length. My sister taught me that to avoid damaging the nail, you should only file one way (left or right), towards the middle of the nail. She said to not file back and forth, at least if you have weak nails, and I follow this tip. Then push back your cuticles. Last step is to make sure there's no oil, lotion or other residue on your nail, that the nail polish can react to or not adhere properly because of.  

How to paint your nails
Painting your nails are really a basic thing, which I'm sure everyone is capable of. However, I do want to give a few tips on applying nail polish, to help you get an even and pretty look =)
First off, make sure never to get nailpolish onto your cuticles. It really makes the manicure look bad right away. I recommend, when first placing the nail polish brush on your nail, to place it a little way away from the cuticle. Then, if you need to, you can push the brush towards the cuticle to get closer, but you have more control with this method.

Second, I always try to paint thin to medium thin layers of polish. I may be tempted to do a thicker coat with some polishes that are proving difficult to apply, but mostly I try to stick to the thin layers. I feel it's better to add more thin layers than one thick one. A good trick is to wipe off the back side of the brush when you pull it out of the bottle, to make sure you don't have too much polish on the brush.
If you get any nail polish where you don't want it, you can clean up afterwards with nail polish remover on a brush.

Base coat
To protect your natural nails, you should always use a base coat before applying any kind of colored nail polish. It is especially good to prevent colored nail polish from staining your natural nails. I am sure staining can occur even when you use a base coat, as I have seen some nail polish bloggers referring to spesific colors as really bad stainers. But if you're careful, I think a base coat will help a lot =) And hey, should your polish stain your nails, I've seen other bloggers say that they scrub stained nails with whitening toothpaste to get that off. Maybe that would be a trick worth trying?

Top Coat
When you're done painting your nails with color, you should finish your manicure with a top coat. A top coat protects the colored nailpolish, prolongs the lifetime of your manicure and adds extra shine.

3-free and 5-free
Nail polishes contain lots of different substances. Many nail polish brands now make sure that their nail polishes are either 3-free or 5-free. These terms refer to the nail polishes not containing either three bad substances, or five bad substances. Usually, 3-free nail polishes do not have Dibutyl Pthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde or Toluene in them. And 5-free nail polishes usually do not have Dibutyl Pthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene and Camphor in them. If you want to avoid any of these substances, make sure to look at the manufacturers website to see which substances they do not have in their nail polishes.

Nail art and nail art tools
The term nail art refers to polished nails that have design, and not only one nail polish color, on them. There are many different types of designs, everything from hand drawn designs, to designs made with stickers or decals, to designs made with different nail art tools. Here's just a few (awesome, by the way) examples of nail art:

(Source: The Nailasaurus)

(Source: Nail Stories)

(Source: cubbiful)

--- All of these pictures are used with permission ---

Nail accessories
There are lots of fun nail accessories out there. To mention some, you have rhinestones, pearls, studs, and nail wraps/nail strips. So, there's plenty of fun options to decorate your painted nails with =) 

Thanks for reading this blogpost. Oh, and if anyone who's more experienced in nail polish than me are reading this, and think of something I didn't cover - please let me know in the coment section below. I'll be thankful for your help =)

- Marie

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