4 Nail Polish Prep Tips For That Perfect At-Home Manicure

Julia DiNardo

Keri Blair, a self-professed nail art junkie, led the team at MAC backstage for Zac Posen, who created the amazing nail color that perfectly matched the lip color (makeup done by Kabuki for MAC). She used two coats of Flaming Rose, a new MAC Cosmetics nail color coming out for fall. Blair, who always has the coolest nails around, was enthusiastic to share her tips and secrets of what she’s learned when it comes to nail care, prep, and clean up.

Keri Blair’s Tips for Fab… Tips!:

Tip 1: “Great nails start with healthy cuticles; prep the canvas of your nail with cuticle oil frequently, and never cut, but just push back the cuticles.”

Tip 2: “Before applying a base coat or any polish, be sure to use a lint free paper towel and alcohol to clean the nail bed; it’s easy for oils, or dust from the nail filings to get onto your nails and give you an uneven manicure. You can get the average isopropyl rubbing alcohol of 70% to do the trick!”

Tip 3: “Always roll, instead of shake, your nail polish; shaking can cause air bubbles in the bottle to arise that can appear in the polish. Rolling your bottle in the palm of your hands will prevent this, and let your formula last longer.”

Tip 4: “With darker, brighter colors, like Flaming Rose, you don’t want the skin to stain and leave a messy residue, so wait for the polish to dry a little first. Give it about 10 minutes, then go back in with the toothpick wrapped in cotton with a bit of nail polish remover to clean up any mistakes. Move along the cuticle line to ensure you don’t have excess polish anywhere it shouldn’t be found.”