Weekend Beauty Hack: Nail Polish Tricks for a Next Level Manicure

Alle Connell
nail polish tricks

Photo: IMaxTree

We live for the weekends, and what better time than Sunday to relax, rejuvenate and get your beauty game on point? These are the best easy beauty hacks to help you look—and feel—your best in the week to come.

Sunday afternoons were made for manicures. And if you’re anything like us, your love of nail polish borders on the fanatical—hoarding the bottles like a jealous dragon, agonizing over your weekly manicure color choice, obsessing over the newest shades. Yep, we feel you in a very real way. And because our love is real, we happen to have picked up some really amazing nail polish tips over the years to help us make the most of our lacquer obsession.

Here are our best nail polish tricks to inspire your weekend manicure game. Get ready to take your nails to the next level!

1. Remove nail stains with denture cleaner.
Anyone who’s ever fallen in love with an intense red polish knows that the pink and yellow stains it leaves behind on your nails are no joke. Instead of shelling out big bucks for nail cleaning kits, all you need are a package of effervescent denture cleaning tablets. Drop one into a bowl of cool water, soak your nails for 10 minutes and watch the stains magically disappear.

2. Strengthen weak nails with a matte top coat.
If you have weak, break-prone or peely nails, you know how important a good strengthening base coat is. And the best base coat to give your fingernails insane strength? It’s not even a base coat at all. OPI’s Matte Top Coat ($9.50, opi.com) worn underneath your polish makes even the most fragile nails unbelievably strong; it’s almost impossible to break a nail when you have this as your secret manicure weapon.

MORE: Here’s The Easiest Way to Fix A Broken Nail—Ever.

3. Prevent polish peeling with vinegar.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had your nail polish lift off your nail in a single sheet. The culprit isn’t a below-average formula or bad technique—it’s oil. If you have any lotion or cuticle oil on your nails at all when you apply your polish, the lacquer won’t adhere to the surface properly and will eventually peel off in a continuous sheet. But rejoice: you can avoid this by wiping your nails down with white vinegar in between coats. The vinegar will remove oils and even help your polish “set” more quickly. We find that cotton rounds are cleaner than tissues and gentler than paper towels; just make sure the polish is totally dry before you do this!

4. De-streak your light-colored lacquer.
If you love light-colored nail polishes, you know that their formulas are often pretty sad: thin and streaky, requiring MANY coats to reach full opacity. Heartbreaking. It turns out that there’s a really easy fix for this: empty out a small amount of the colored varnish, then replace it with a clear or cream-toned ridge-filling base coat. This will dilute the color a little, but it also cuts down on streakiness by an incredible amount; we’ve had the best success with Essie Fill The Gap Base Coat ($10, essie.com).

5. Use clear polish to cure mosquito bites.
Let’s face it: nothing messes up your radiant summer skin faster than scratched up mosquito bites. The fastest way to kill the itch? A blob of clear nail polish overtop the bite. It sounds crazy, but this is basically our summertime savior: just dab it on, let it dry and go about your business, itch-free.

MORE: Genius Concealer Hacks You’ll Love.