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Eva's At Home Manicure
Since this is Eva's idea of a "messy" paint job, we thought she'd be the perfect person to school us in home manicure strategy. Click through for her step-by-step guide to giving yourself an almost-salon-quality mani from the comfort of your couch.
The Prep Process
"It's so important! I try to replicate what they do at the nail salon, wrapping a cotton ball dipped in nail polish remover—my favorite's Zoya's 3-in-1 version—around an orange stick. That way I can really get in there where the cuticle meets the nail, as well as up on the tips and under the nail. People rush through this part at home, but if those areas aren't totally clean first, you will get chips later."
The Dehydrator
"Then I prep the nail using a dehydrator, which dries out the nail slightly so that it'll gobble up your base coat and help it stay on. I love O.P.I.'s Bond Aid, which is usually only sold to salon professionals, though I'm lucky to have a hook up. But I'll happily use O.P.I's easily-available-to-everyone Chip Skip dehydrator, because it's pretty great, too."
The Base Coat
"The base coat is essential, and not just because you don't want to end up with brown or yellow nails. It really is like primer for your walls when you're painting your apartment, setting an even foundation so the color doesn't look weird when it goes on. The one I use is Orly's Bonder: it's kinda rubberized and feels a little sticky when you touch it...not that you should touch it. I do one coat of that and then I wait one minute after, which is very important to prevent bubbles from popping up when you're applying your color. Don't skip that minute."
The Color: Brush Selection
"When it comes to picking out a color, I think it's helpful to know that nail polish brands differ in the thickness of the brushes they use, so they might be easier or harder to apply on yourself depending on the shape of your nail bed. Sally Hansen works really well for me, as does Dior, Essie and O.P.I. But if you have a narrower nail, a brand that uses longer, skinnier brushes might work better for you. Like Chanel: they use great narrow brushes. Plus, every season I love looking at their polish colors because they're so on trend and directional."
The Color: Take Your Time
"Whichever brand you choose for your color, though, apply it slowly! I usually do mine while parked on my couch watching good bad TV, like Nashville or American Ninja Warrior. That way I never feel rushed at all, so I'm less likely to make a mistake."
The Top Coat
"Finally, don't skip the top coat. I use this one: it's not really gel, but it gives you a gel-like shine. It's so convincing, like you just stepped out from under the UV light at your usual mani-pedi place."