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Nail art, the practice of painting decorative designs on your fingernails, is a fun way to brighten up your everyday look or accessorize a special occasion outfit. There are a variety of designs available, ranging from subtle and understated to funky and outrageous. For example, you could choose to paint flowers on your nails for a date or spell out the name of your favorite athletic team on the day of the big game. While the more intricate designs are best left to a professional, it’s possible to create simple nail art at home.
The key to any successful nail design is starting with clean and well-shaped nails. Nails should be neatly trimmed and filed before painting. Even the most accomplished artist can’t create an attractive design on nails that have been bitten down to stubs. If your natural nails are beyond repair, consider applying artificial acrylic nails before painting your design.
Once you’ve painted your nails with a neutral base coat, you can draw your design using a special thin-tipped nail brush. However, beginners may choose to improvise by creating their designs with a bobby pin or toothpick. Regardless of which application method you choose, it’s best to use a cotton swab and pure acetone to remove any polish application mistakes. Work as fast as possible, since nail polish dries fairly quickly. To save time, have a separate brush for each color of polish.
There are many different methods you can use to come up with nail art designs. Many beginners like to copy from pictures they have found on the Internet or in books. Some larger nail salons also offer classes for people interested in learning how to do their own art. However, even people with minimal artistic talent can learn to freehand geometric shapes or floral designs.
While most nail art designs are created simply using various colors of nail polish, you can add sparkle to your designs by mixing glitter into one or more of the polish colors before painting your nails. Using stick-on jewels is another great way to jazz up a simple motif. Tiny stickers can make it easier to create more elaborate designs.
Once you’ve finished your design, proper maintenance will help keep your nail art in top condition for as long as possible. Apply a coat of protective clear nail polish every two or three days for the duration of your manicure. Wear gloves when doing tasks that may damage your nails and resist the urge to pick or bite your nails.