1. Three strokes are all you need. As you’re painting your nails, it’s best if you use three strokes to apply the polish. “First, you want to dip the brush into the bottle and get a decent-sized bead of polish at the edge of your brush,” nail pro Simcha Whitehill says. “You want the polish to do the majority of the work and spread out as it’s placed on the nail — the brush is there to just guide the dot of polish into place. Starting at the base of your nail, stroke the brush to the left, to the right, and then down the center. Voila!
2. Always use base coat. “It might take you some extra time, but it gives the colored polish something to adhere to, making your manicure last a couple of extra days longer, and it prevents staining on your nails from pigmented paint,” Whitehill explains.
3. Repurpose your old lip brush to help tidy up the edges of your nail. We’ve all colored outside of the lines, but when you do it with nail polish, you want to be precise in your clean-up technique. Whitehill suggests dipping an old lip brush into nail polish remover and swiping it around your nail bed to clean up the edges.
4. Find the right white. White nail polish couldn’t be cooler than it is right now — it’s a super-mod, must-wear shade. But when you’re choosing a bottle, you want to make sure the formula is thick and creamy, so that it doesn’t go on too sheer or streaky. To make sure it’s opaque, take the brush and wipe it against the inside of the top of the bottle; if the polish is sheer against the inside of the bottle, it’s not pigmented enough. One to try: Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Eastern Light.