How to Achieve a Clean, Dark Mani At Home

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Via ImaxTree

The time of year has come where rocking a dark mani in blacks or blues or even reds, is on trend. It gives you some edge without coming off as goth. While we’re ecstatic to sport this dark mani, it typically means money starts going toward regular manicures in order to make our nails look great. There’s just no way can you paint your own nails using such dark colors, right?

You’ve been down that road before and given it a try, in an effort to save the cash. That’s when you end up with noticeably uneven lines and stains on the skin around your nails leaving it looking sloppy. Which is the exact opposite of what a manicure should look like. So you just decide to throw down the money and get it done by professionals. Well, that time has come to an end. We talked to one of those professionals, manicurist Ana-Maria, on how to get the best at-home dark mani sans dark stains. It’ll look like you just stepped out of a salon minus the cost.

Prep the nail
“Never choose to do dark color on a unprepped nail,” emphasizes Ana-Maria. This begins with moisturizing and cleaning up your cuticles. Ana-Maria suggests using cuticle oil and pushing back cuticles.
And most importantly, never ever paint nails a dark pigmented color without a base coat. If you apply the color directly to the nail, it will horribly stain the nail even after proper removal. We love OPI’s Chip Skip base coat.

MORE: How to Whiten Up Your Stained Nails

Keep from staining skin
The best way to avoid staining the skin surrounding the nail is to leave a 1/16 inch space from cuticle area explains Ana-Maria. Another trick she suggests trying is putting just a little bit of cuticle oil on a cotton wood stick and apply it to the skin around the nails. This will help keep them from staining if color does start to bleed over.

Even out the polish amount on brush
The amount of polish you hold on the brush helps more then you can imagine in achieving a clean manicure. Make sure to wipe away any excess polish that might be on the brush before dripping too much on to the nail. Then you will be stuck trying to even it out resulting in clumpy uneven nail coloring. “You want to get enough color on the brush so that you don’t have to drag color and make it obviously wrong,” Ana-Maria explains. “If you get the first coat applied well, the rest is easy.”

Off-hand tip
The dread that comes with finishing your first hand using your good hand is a serious stressor. Ana-Maria advises you to keep from applying with your hand in the air like some of us are keen on doing. “Make sure your hand is flat on a surface so you have more control,” she explains. This will allow for a more level and stable application process when we don’t have any other hands to use.

Clean up mistakes
The way that works best for me is to drag down a cotton wood-stick soaked in remover on the sides while turning it counter clockwise and moving from left to right to clean the top part of skin. And clean up the mistakes immediately. “Be prepared to clean the imperfections one nail at a time,” especially when using your off hand she explains. If you do all the nails and then go back to clean up mistakes, the stains will have dried making it harder to remove.