Top 5 Manicure Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Top 5 Manicure Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

A well-executed manicure is a key element of a polished appearance for many women. Even if you opt for a casual look and skip makeup, well-groomed hands can draw admiration and enhance your overall style. With the plethora of manicure services available today, finding a truly skilled nail technician can be a challenge. However, many women choose to do their manicures at home, leading to common mistakes that compromise the longevity and quality of their nails. Here are the top five mistakes to avoid for a flawless at-home manicure.

  1. Performing Manicure Right After Water Exposure

Many women begin their manicure immediately after a bath or washing dishes. This can be a significant mistake. Nails absorb moisture, and applying polish to wet nails can cause the polish to peel off quickly. It’s advisable to wait at least two hours after water exposure before starting your manicure. The only exception is applying strengthening oil after a bath, which helps fortify the nail plate.

  1. Incorrect Use of Nail Files

Filing nails may seem simple, but it’s easy to make mistakes. Filing the sides of your nails incorrectly can cause them to grow inward. It’s better to file only the top edge, shaping the nail plate. Additionally, always file in one direction—from the edges towards the center—to prevent splitting. Using overly coarse files meant for artificial nails on natural nails can also cause damage. For natural nails, use files with a grit of 180-240.

  1. Risks of Cutting Cuticles

Cutting cuticles requires precision and care.It’s easy to cut yourself, increasing the risk of infection.

Achieving a perfectly even cut is difficult, and unevenly trimmed cuticles can ruin the look of your manicure.
Avoid cutting the cuticle entirely to maintain the natural protection it provides to the nail root. Frequent cutting can lead to faster and thicker regrowth. Instead, regular moisturizing and gentle exfoliation can help maintain healthy nails. Over time, you’ll see improvements even if you initially miss the neat look of trimmed cuticles.



  1. Applying Nail Polish in One Thick Layer

When in a hurry, it’s tempting to apply a thick layer of nail polish, hoping for a quick-drying, vibrant finish. However, this approach has several drawbacks:

  • Extended Drying Time: Thick layers take much longer to dry, increasing the chance of smudges.
  • Higher Risk of Chipping and Peeling: A thick coat is more prone to cracking and peeling, making your manicure look untidy and short-lived.
  • Uneven Coverage: Achieving an even application is difficult with thick layers, leading to streaks and blotches.
  • Difficulty in Correcting Mistakes: Errors are harder to fix with thick layers compared to thin ones.

The Better Approach: Multiple Thin Layers

Applying several thin coats of polish is the best strategy:

  • Faster Drying: Each thin layer dries quickly, reducing the overall time required for your manicure.
  • Long-Lasting Manicure: Thin layers are less likely to chip and peel, ensuring a neat and durable finish.
  • Even Coverage: Thin layers provide a smoother, more even look.
  • Ease of Correction: Mistakes are easier to fix when working with thin layers.
  1. Shaking Nail Polish Before Application

Shaking the nail polish bottle is an outdated practice from the days when acetone-based polishes separated easily. Modern gel polishes have a thick consistency that doesn’t benefit from shaking. In fact, shaking can introduce bubbles and create an uneven application. Instead, roll the bottle gently between your hands to mix the contents without forming bubbles.

Additional Manicure Mistakes to Avoid

Insufficient Nail Preparation

A key mistake is not preparing the nail plate properly before applying polish. This includes inadequate removal of old polish, insufficient degreasing, and improper smoothing of the nail surface. Thoroughly remove old polish, degrease the nail plate with a suitable product or regular polish remover, and use a file to create a smooth surface. This ensures better adhesion and longer-lasting polish.

Using Old or Thickened Nail Polish

Old or thickened polish can be difficult to apply evenly, resulting in clumps and streaks. If your polish is too thick, replace it with a new one. Store polishes in a cool, dark place to prevent them from thickening and losing quality.

Skipping Base and Top Coats

Many underestimate the importance of base and top coats. A base coat protects the nail plate from staining and enhances polish adhesion. A top coat adds shine and protects the color from fading and scratches, prolonging the life of your manicure. Skipping these steps can significantly shorten the lifespan of your manicure.

By avoiding these common mistakes and paying attention to details, you can achieve a beautiful, long-lasting manicure at home.

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