2e29dab6849c6eeb437a 5d0e341bef311df35bc7 nail artist tips

Nail art is constantly changing and new techniques come out just about every day. But no matter how many how-to videos you watch, your designs won’t turn out like the pros unless you nail down the basics. Here, the top dos and don’ts every nail artist should know.

DO apply base coat before every polish application.

No matter what type of design you’re trying to create, always apply base coat! Base coat helps protect against staining and lays a smooth foundation for any type of nail art. Opt for a base coat that fits your personal needs. For example, CND RidgeFx fills ridges and hides imperfections for a flawless application, while CND Stickey improves wearability.

DON’T forget to remove striping tape before polish dries when creating negative space nail art.

Timing is crucial when trying to achieve those clean, sharp lines in a negative space design. In order to avoid smudging, always carefully peel off striping tape while polish is still wet. This way, the polish won’t lift or dent when the tape is removed.

DO protect skin from polish when stamping or sponging nails.

Polish can be difficult to remove from your skin when creating a stamped or ombre design. Always apply liquid latex or a couple of pieces of Scotch tape around your nail before sponging or stamping to keep polish off of your skin.

DON’T use top coat to secure nail charms.

Although it’s the easiest method for securing 3-D nail jewelry, top coat offers little adhesion. Unless you’re only looking to wear nail charms for a short period of time (i.e. no longer than a day), opt for nail glue or gel instead. Nail glue is very tacky, and will hold a charm into place for a couple of days. Gel encases the charm once it’s cured, keeping it adhered to the nail for several days.

DO use your finger to keep your hand steady when painting lines.

Painting perfect lines is tricky, especially if you have shaky hands. Hold a striping brush in your hand, then place your pinky flat on whatever surface you’re working on to act as a “kickstand.”

DON’T over mix polish.

Most polish formulas are self-leveling, meaning they naturally smooth out on the nail after you apply them. In short, this means polish does most of the work for you when mixing colors. If you’re trying to create a cool marble design, let the colors blend naturally rather than mixing them yourself. This will prevent the colors from looking muddy.

While you might see things as mistakes, others simply see it as art! CND Creative Ambassador Miss Pop (@misspopails) doesn't believe in mistakes, "It's art" she says, "I don’t think there are mistakes! I think nail art is all about what you want. Your nails are canvases for self-expression and the possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Plus, the best part about nail art is that you can always switch it up. It’s not a tattoo where you’ll have to ask— what do I want permanently on my body forever? Nail art is in the moment, it’s all about what you want right now. So, go big! Right now, I’m heavy into a pink phase. I have pink glitter toes and pink chrome nails. And I don’t care if someone else thinks it’s barfy or too Barbie. I’m living the dream." 


What are your top nail art tips and tricks? Share them in the comments below! 

Want to see the latest nail tutorials? Check out CND on Nailstyle, visit CNDUniversity for all the latest education, and be sure to follow @misspopnails and @cndworld on Instagram for daily inspiration!