Manicurists, like painters and sculptors, are artists. Their canvas might be smaller, but they know their way around a brush and their creativity abounds (and makes for great #ManiMonday fodder). We talk a lot about manicure hacks and even put a bunch of them to the test—but at the end of the day, who better to learn from than the pros themselves? We spoke to some of the top nail artists in the industry (you can see their work on runways like Rag & Bone and Jason Wu), and asked them to share their best, most life-changing manicure hacks. Smudges and smears, begone!
Keep scrolling for the best polish hacks from Jin Soon Choi, Deborah Lippmann and Michelle Saunders!
“To clean up nail polish around the nail, use a thin, angled eye-liner brush dipped in remover—or dip an orange wood stick in remover without any cotton wrapped around the tip, since the typical orange stick wrapped in cotton will leave fuzz.”
–Jin Soon Choi, founder of Jinsoon Nail Lacquer
“Scotch, Scotch, Scotch…Tape that is! Line this household item all around the nails prior to application. It helps to keep the brush on the nail plate. If you miss, the polish will wind up on the tape, which you can easily peel off afterwards.”
–Deborah Lippmann, founder of Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer
“A simple way to make a manicure last longer is to apply two coats of top coat instead of just one. That extra five minutes of drying time will be worth the extra two to three days that manicure will last. Try using Essies’s Good To Go, ($10) top coat first, then add a coat of Essie’s Second Shine Around, ($9) a manicure refresher.”
- Michelle Saunders, Essie brand ambassador
“A grease-free nail bed is the first step to a long-lasting nail polish application. To best remove the grease, instead of using cotton, use a piece of paper towel so there is no cotton lint on your nail beds. This will ensure that the polish adheres properly.”
“If you are fixing a smudge yourself, dab a bit of polish remover, like The Stripper, ($19) on the pad of your fingertip and smooth ridge where chip is. Patience is key with this—if you don’t allow it to dry, it may look worse. Less is more when trying to fix things. After smoothing with your finger, try adding a layer of Top Coat to see if it fixes the problem.”
“If you have a sheer pink nail polish color—I know you all do—you can use it like a ‘filter’ when you apply it on top of any other color. It reminds me of using the Valencia filter on Instagram—it softens and brightens the hue of any color you apply it to."
Have you tried any of these manicure tricks? Sound off below!