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PJs? Check. Comfort show loading? Check. Nail clippers and polishes ready? Check, and check. Congratulations, you’re officially prepared to pamper yourself with an at-home mani. BUT WAIT! Before you bust out the Nail Polish, make sure you avoid these major (but common) manicure mistakes. Hint: #3 left us shook. 

Manicure Mistake #1: Cutting Your Cuticles

We’ll wait as you quickly scroll through TikTok’s cuticle-cutting content – strangely satisfying, right? Although it tidies up nail beds, numerous derms and plenty of studies reveal that cutting your cuticles does more harm than good. This clear-ish sliver of skin (around your nail bed) is a protective barrier that keeps dirt and bacteria from entering your skin. That’s why cutting them is an absolute no-no; you’re basically inviting infection and irritation into your body – yikes! The lesson? Never let anyone cut your cuticles, even your go-to nail gal. Push those babys back and leave them alone.

Manicure Mistake #2: Skipping Prep

Prepping your nails sounds blah, but it’s the most important part of a manicure. Cleaning, filing, and buffing your nails pre-paint helps remove the dirt and residual oils on your nail beds, creating a smoother base. It lays the groundwork for a hassle-free mani and helps your polishes to apply, adhere, and even wear better (and for longer!) Aaand if you need convincing, it’s a great excuse to squeeze in another episode. 

Manicure Mistake #3: Shaking the Bottle

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Sometimes, you’ll see itty-bitty bubbles on your nail bed after you apply a coat of polish. The culprit here? Shaking your polishes before application. While many think it “warms up” the formula, it actually traps tiny air pockets in the polish, which then transform into noticeable holes in a freshly painted mani. Instead, try rolling the bottle in your hands – as if you were rolling clay – to warm up the polish for bubble-free application gently.

Manicure Mistake #4: Skipping The Base/Top Coat

The secret to 10/10 manicures? Base and top coats. Applying a high-quality base coat like Olive & June’s Nail Beauty Treatment – Nail Primer, $10, prevents polish chemicals from staining and messing with your natural nail beds. It even smooths your nail beds by filling in teeny-tiny ridges for non-streaky polish application. On the flip side, finishing off your nail lewk with Olive & June Nail Polish – Topcoat, $9, adds an anti-chipping seal, extending its longevity.

Manicure Mistake #5: Forgetting to Seal Polish on Tips

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We all know that our nails typically chip at the tip. BUT, did you know one of the easiest ways to prevent chipping is by applying a topcoat polish AROUND the edge of your nail tip? All you gotta do is sweep the brush around the edge of the tip. This curved coat fills the edges of your nail with polish and locks your mani in place for longer. 

Manicure Mistake #6: Using Q-Tips to Clean Up 

Q-tips and fresh polish just don’t vibe with each other. The cotton is most likely going to get caught in your polish and ruin your new lewk. What’s worse is that these tiny cotton threads are hard to remove unless you’ve got tweezers on standby. Save yourself the trouble and use a thin angled Makeup Brush dipped in acetone to clean up any manicure mistakes. It gets the job done quickly, so you can quickly resume watching your episode. 

Here’s why your nails keep breaking and how to fix it ASAP.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. Although some brands allow affiliate links, we never take payment to review products, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.


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