Argh My Nails Creased! How to Avoid This Stupidly Common Phenomenon

Yes, that's in front of a toilet. Because these nails are poop.
Yes, they’re in front of a toilet. Because these nails are poop.

Here’s the story: you’re trapped in a Top of the Lake marathon, unable to peel away from the amazingness that is Peggy Olsen with a New Zealander’s accent and Holly Hunter’s silver wig. And suddenly, you have inspiration for some new nail art. Now is the perfect time to try out that metallic sharpie nail art from Lauren Conrad’s surprisingly useful beauty website.

But! It’s 10 p.m. And you’ve had a couple Red Tail Ales. And you really should go to bed within an hour. But for the sake of nail art, you press on. Caution! Here be dragons. Specifically, the dragon that is waking up in the morning with creases all over your gorgeous nails. I’m going to teach you the steps you need to prevent this from ever happening again.

First things first: if you were thinking of following that Beauty Department sharpie tutorial I linked to above, don’t! LC convinced me to splurge on some gold, silver, and bronze sharpies for the express purpose of manicures, but when you apply a top coat, they smear! And they don’t stay metallic! So now you’re left with smudged gold-brown marks, which isn’t the look you’re going for. Spare your money.

Back to the point of this article: how to avoid creases. Behold the 3 Commandments of Crease-Free Nails:

  1. Don’t apply nail polish late at night! This is a critical mistake that I make over and over again, but I’m learning. Applying your nails outside in the sunshine is my new favorite thing. It helps dissipate the evil acetone fumes, and you’re a lot less likely to wake up with dented nails.
  2. Apply thin coats. This is a universal rule of makeup, from eyeshadow to foundation to polish. Have you ever applied wall paint? Same idea. You want to only have enough polish on the brush to apply one nail (ideally with three swipes – center, right, left). Thick coats are the main culprit of creased nails.
  3. Let your nails dry for a full 15 minutes between coats. More if you accidentally applied a thick coat. This one isn’t easy, but you can put that smartphone to use and set an alarm for 15 minutes. Spread it out perfectly over an hour long episode – base coat, first coat, second coat, and top coat. By the time Jane Campion has worked her magic on you, you’ll have worked your magic on a set of nails.

If all else fails, you could try making creased nails into the new big fad. Oh, you haven’t tried out textured nails? I spotted it on the Prada Spring 2014 runway. Miuccia approves.

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