Mani Monday-Manicure and Nail Art Basics


Alright y’all.  I had a little bit of an accident.  I broke my nail the worst I’ve ever broken it.  It was bleeding really bad and it’s still tender to the touch.  I broke it on Thursday (the day I was going to do an emoji nail art design for y’all!  ugh!!) and it still hasn’t healed!  That’s why for today’s post I don’t have a design but I wanted to go over some basics and favorites of mine and nail art.  A lot of people ask me what kind of polish I use, or even tools.  How do I make these designs and such.  To be honest when they ask how I make the designs I say a steady hand and A LOT of patience, especially when the design is an epic fail and I NEED TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!  That’s never fun, but I do it for y’all that’s why I have no problem showing my nail art fails here on the blog, because I’m definitely not perfect when it comes to this and I’m all self taught, so from an amateur here are some of my basics and favorites.

Nail Polish Brands
There are about 4 nail polish brands that I swear by.  Sally Hansen, OPI, Essie, and Orly.  Most of these can be found at your local Walmart/Target/Harmon’s along with all of the higher end beauty retailers like Sephora and Ulta.  To be honest, my favorite is probably Sally Hansen.  Some of those polishes just glide on so smooth!

Nail Art Tools
I have lots of tools but my favorite tools are all of my brushes and dotting tools.  You can easily make dotting tools out of bobby pins as well (I did that in Poland last year for a nail art design) but I like all of the different sizes that are available to me.  Also, I swear by nail art pens!  They definitely help with accuracy, just be careful not to put too much on your nail because then it explodes and that’s never a good time.
Manicure Tools
Buffer, cuticle pusher, lotion & a nail file.  Those are the three tools I swear by when preparing my nails.  A buffer that has all 4 sides you can pick one up from your local Walmart.  It’s neon colors and has the buff, shine, and some other steps on them.  They are a rectangular block as well.  Cuticle pusher aka my other nail while I’m taking a shower.  I never push my cuticle when they are hard.  I only push them either while I shower because they’ve been soaking in water, or with lotion.  I never ever cut my cuticles.  I’ve seen lots of horrible infections from girls who cut their cuticles and if I can get the same effect, I’ll just push mine thank you very much!  Lotion is key for skin and cuticles or hang nails.  It’s helps moisturize everything especially if you’re constantly putting chemicals on them like nail polish remover/acetone and nail polish.  Just make sure not to put too much on because then when it comes time to paint your nails you won’t be able to open the bottle, like myself most of the time.  Of course a nail file to make sure the shape is perfect!
Top Coat/Base Coat
I have both top coats and base coats, however the base coat is also a nail strengthener.  I usually use Sally Hansen for the base coat.  For Top Coat I use either gloss or matte and OPI or Orly.  Both work wonders!  I have been obsessed with matte finish nails lately so I’ve been going through that like crazy!
Nail Shapes
There are so many different nail shapes out there nowadays!  I found the above picture very helpful especially if you’re going to your nail lady to get your nails diddddd and you have no idea how to describe the latest trending shapes.  To be honest I LOVE the coffin nail trend.  Kylie Jenner, thank you for starting that!  I don’t know why but it’s so different, it’s a mix of square and stiletto so it’s kind of like the best of both worlds.  It’s kind of rounded, but kind of not.  Ok, that last sentence made no sense, but you know what I mean.
Give your nails a break!
Ok, so I’m super guilty of almost never letting my nails rest.  I should probably listen to my own advice.  Whether you get your nails done or do them yourself give them a break.  Your nails need to rest and breathe just like you!  Otherwise they will be thin, and breaking extremely painfully like the one that is the culprit behind this entire post.  There was a time where I went almost an entire year of not even putting nail polish on my nails because I wanted them to grow stronger.  Now after moving it’s hard to even keep them long anymore because of how much I do around the apartment.
I’ve linked up some fun tools and nail polish below!

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