Back to Basics: How to Paint Your Nails

Hey Everyone!

This is an idiot proof guide to doing your nails. That means that if you are a self-confessed make-up guru, then this really isn’t a post for you. Sometimes we forget that our audience includes a myriad of skill levels so just like my ultimate guides on YouTube, I decided to do Back to Basics on this blog.

Today’s Back to Basics covers nails. We all have our own methods of doing our nails, whether it be a different process, way or tool. We also have different preferences when it comes to getting our nails done – do we want them Square, pointed or round? Nonetheless, here is my way of doing my nails. I tend to like them square and painted. I feel weird when they’re naked. Even though you might know how to do everything, who knows? You might learn a few tips I’ve gotten used to along the way.

Step1: Take any existing nail polish off.

Honestly who cares what nail polish remover you use. I usually use the cheapest I can find from SASA, usually $1.99. It really makes no difference.

I’ve used tissue before and nothing works better than cotton pads like these. Not cotton puffs or balls but pads. They’re great. They absorb the perfect amount and they don’t dissolve under the liquid which is useful especially when you really don’t want stray cotton hairs on your nails. Those are so annoying. I usually fold the cotton pad between my fingers and insert the nail, and rub rub until the polish comes off.

Or you can place the cotton round with your nail polish remover on top of your nail and rub that way.

Step 2: The next thing you want to do is you want to shape your nail. Honestly, I love nails that are square. It’s so clean and professional looking. To get square nails, cut your nail across like so. Hopefully your nails aren’t too long that they will chip when you do this so be careful. Don’t cut too much.

Then you grab a nail file (I actually don’t like using the one provided by your nail cutter) but actually a 4 way buffer works best. File your nail around the edges so that no sharp edges remain but you still have that square shape rounded at the edges. Then, listen to the rest of the instructions of your 4 way buffer. Usually, you’ll get really nice shiny nails after your 4 way buffer treatment. Unfortunately, I didn’t know where mine was when I was taking the pictures.

Step 3: Apply a base coat. Base coats are really important because they stop your nail color from staining your nails yellow which it has sorta done here but I was feeling lazy that day and needed a quick fix. Usually though, applying a base coat will offer protection to your nail especially with red or blue nail polish.

Just apply the base coat like you would a regular coat of polish

Then you can safely apply your nail color. Today’s color is OPI Do you Lilac it?, a wonderful light purple color that is very popular for Spring. In fact, you’ve probably already heard of it.

I love OPI nail polishes. I’ve tried China Glaze and Essie and even MAC and I still think OPI is the best. I might do a post comparing each finish but I think how you judge whether a nail polish is good or not is by how well it applies and how easily it applies or even how many coats it takes to achieve it’s “bottle colour” For OPI, stopping at one coat is fine but I like to always do two coats of  a nail polish.

I’ve been recently addicted to StumbleUpon and stumbled upon a blog post by Lacquerized ( and she did up a wonderful graphic explaining how she paints her nails. I tried this method and it works wonderfully. I think it’s even better than painting normally because it really creates an even finish.

Step..I don’t know. It’s 12 AM, I’m sleepy. But anyway, apply a top coat. This makes your color even more shiny and it makes the color last longer and prone to less chipping which isn’t cool

And then you are done. Remember to not touch anything for the next I would say 20 to 30 minutes just to be sure. As you can see, I don’t touch my cuticles unless I’m getting my nails done with an absolute professional because the whole thing of peeling skin kind of irks me out and I’m scared I might make my fingers bleed. Yuck. I’m also not the kind who’s very artistic. I think plain coloured nails are best for me. I can’t deal with all that acrylic and what not, I don’t know how they can do things with those thingies on their nails. But, it’s all about individual preference anyway.


If you are unsure about what nail colors look best on you, I found this that will help! It’s Sally Hansen’s online nail color selector (!

You can choose your skintone and see if various shades look good on you. Of course it’s Sally Hansen’s nail color generator so they’re gonna try and sell you what they have but you can take a more general idea of what looks good on you!

How do you paint your nails, any specific things that you normally do?

What Kind of Nails do you go for and what colors?

Love, Roseanne


  • AutumnCandy

    I love OPI nail polishes the most too. :)
    Base cost and top coat wise I prefer the brand Gena that I got from John Little.
    Ever since I started doing gel nails myself, I didn’t really use my polishes much but I still show my love to them on days when I give my nails a rest from gels.

  • heeseung93

    i love your blog posts :) they are so detailed and pretty hehe

  • roseannetangrs

    @AutumnCandy: ooo I’ll have to try Gena out! How are gel nails like? haven’t tried them!

    @heeseung93: thanks dear!

  • AutumnCandy

    Gel nails are great! They last longer than nail polishes (but the bad thing is if you’re fickle-mind and loves to change colors then it’s not for you) and doesn’t make your nails turn yellow. You should try it out some day. :)

  • sophieanna

    Yes! I can finally know which color suits me best. Thanks, yo. Haha

  • ExoticHell

    dsgfsbgdbf i have that top coat… i HATE it! i use to love it but recently its made my nails prone to chipping and they peel off easily and it snt seem to make them any shinier:(:L

  • British Blogger

    Thankyou! That’s a great help:)


  • roseannetangrs

    @Autumn Candy: Oh cool! I’ll have to try it out someday!
    @sophieanna: yeah i found that selector pretty useful too and no problem!
    @ExoticHell: I’ve started to hate this top coat too haha! It’ bubbles up my nailpolish but when it was brand new, it was fine :(
    @British Blogger: glad I helped out love :)

  • Rinny's Beauty Diary

    Thanks for posting this! I rarely bother with my nails because I’m a total noob when it comes to applying polish for some reason. The diagram really helps haha. Most girls seem to like to push back or remove their cuticles before painting, do you just leave yours as they are?

  • roseannetangrs

    my pleasure! I get iffy about cuticles, I dont like the idea of taking the skin off, kinda grosses me out so I don’t touch them ;p unless i get a professional manicure, do you do your cuticles? :)

  • Rinny's Beauty Diary

    ah yeah I know what you mean – my friend never does anything to her cuticles either. I push mine back sometimes because I think the manicure looks better, but I rarely do my nails anyway :P

  • roseannetangrs

    aww haha, i like getting manicures too haha

  • Pingback: How To: My First Do-It-Yourself French Manicure – Be Nice! - roseannetangrs

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