Each time I try to paint my own fingernails, they end up looking like I enlisted the help of my three-year-old cousin. They're gummy, textured (in an oops-I-just-towel-dried-my-wet-nails kind of way), and embarrassingly uneven. It's just a mess. That's why I often choose to bare my nude nails every day and leave an occasional manicure to the pros.
But recently, I was shocked to learn that the pros in Brazil actually mimic my own messy nail technique (save for the unevenness and unintentional texture) by purposely painting their clients' skin surrounding the nail.
Anna De Souza of Today explains that Brazilian manicures stay intact much longer than the traditional American manis she gets in Manhattan, which is why she headed to Maria Bonita salon, a Brazilian gem in the city. As expected, the nail tech not only painted her nails, but the surrounding skin too.
Personally, if I didn't know better, I would have stopped the nail tech and asked her what on earth she was doing. However, this is standard practice in Brazil. Before the polish is even applied, the nail tech will fully remove your two layers of cuticles (yes, there are two) which is pivotal to the polish's staying power. Then, they paint outside the lines, so to speak, with a clear base coat, followed by your actual color of choice. This way, the polish won't stain your skin. Next, before the polish is dry, the nail tech will go in with an orangewood stick ($5) and rub the polish off the skin before covering the stick with an acetone-soaked piece of cotton to fully remove all excess polish surrounding the nail.
So what's the reasoning behind this? De Souza explains that by allowing the paint to extend past the edge of the nail, it adheres better so that it takes longer to grow out. Most manicurists will leave a teeny sliver of nail visible around the edges, which results in more bare nail peeping through as the nail grows. With this temporarily messy technique, your manicure will last even longer. Pretty crazy, right? Perhaps I'm not too far off with my messy nail technique, after all.
Thinking of trying this technique at home? Make your manicure last even longer with OPIs Infinite Shine 2 Lacquer for a gel effect without the light.
So, would you try this technique? Tell us below!