Need-To-Know DIY Nail Hacks

By Anja Trenkwalder
Elm Staff Writer

Have touble coming up with cute ideas for your nails?  No problem. Here are some quick and easy tips to help you in every area.

1.) First things first: Nail polish bottles can be really hard to open if the cap is “glued” to the bottle with dried up polish. In order to open your bottles easily, simply place the bottle upside down in a cup with hot water. Make sure the water only covers the cap, and not the bottle, as the heat may harm the color particles in the nail polish. Let it sit for a minute or two, then you will be able to open the bottle effortlessly.

Try using tape to make creative nail designs with ease.
Try using tape to make creative nail designs with ease.

2.) In order to prevent your nail polish from drying shut in the future, rub a little bit of Vaseline onto the lip of the bottle before you close it. Next time you use it you will be able to unscrew the cap with ease.

3.) Having trouble cleaning up a messy finish? Before applying nail polish, apply a thin coat of Vaseline onto the skin around your nails. The Vaseline will prevent nail polish that accidentally gets onto the skin next to your nail from settling there. Then you can simply swipe those little mistakes right off your skin once you are done with your manicure.

4.) Prevent chipping nail polish with this simple trick: Make sure to apply a layer of a clear base coat before applying your colored nail polish. This ensures an ideal base for an even and long lasting finish. In addition to that, don’t forget to apply a topcoat to your nail design. Among other stores, Sephora sells special top-coats that are designed to protect your nail art from the strains of every-day life, prevent chipping and guarantee a long-lasting finish.

5.) Want your brightest Neons to look even brighter? Make your colors pop by applying not a clear, but a white base coat. A white base coat will prevent the natural tint of your nails from shining through and lets your nail art shine as brightly as you want it.

6.) Glittery nail polish tends to be pretty hard to take off you apply this little trick: Use white craft glue (Not “regular” glue. This works only with white craft glue.) as base coat. Let it dry, then apply your desired glittery nail polish. When the time comes where you want to remove your nail polish simply peel it all off. No damage will be done to your nails.

7.) Just a regular all-over color look is not enough? You want to create your own edgy and unique nail design right in your dorm room? Good thing that there are “nail fine-liners” (sold at Sephora). This special kind of nail polish comes with a super tiny brush, and will allow you to draw limitless shapes and designs right onto your base-coat. Don’t want to invest in a set of nail fine-liners? No problem. Simply use a toothpick, dip it into your regular nail polish and get creative. The fine pointy end will work just like a pen. You may have to dip it a couple of times, but the uniquely customizable finish will certainly be worth the effort.

8.) Another easy way to create beautiful nail designs is by using tape. Paint your nails in a color of your choice and let it dry. Then apply thin strips of tape in various patterns onto the dry nail polish and add another color on top. Let the paint dry for a few seconds (not completely), then carefully peel the tape off. You will be left with a stunning two-color pattern. Time to get creative. Let yourself be inspired by the picture to the right or develop your own unique designs.

9.) If you don’t have much time to let your nail polish dry, hold your freshly manicured fingertips into a bowl of ice water for a couple of minutes. The cold water makes the polish dry in just a fraction of the time it would take otherwise.


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