Application Guide

sheers or slow-drying polishes that tend to drag

Use medium coats and apply each coat by positioning your brush so that it is almost parallel to the nail bed.  In other words, try to keep the brush from dragging along your nail.  This will help minimize drag and will speed up the self-leveling process.

finicky holos (without a base like Nfu Oh Aqua Base)
  1. While a bit tricky, the fact that holo polishes apply in thin coats will work in your favor.  Apply polish in one stroke and don't worry about covering the whole nail on the first try.  Don't go over it again or you will create bald spots.
  2. Apply a coat of base, clear, or top coat.  This will keep the bottom color from coming up with your next coat.
  3. Apply the next coat in one stroke covering the rest of the nail.
  4. Repeat step #2 and apply one more coat down the middle if desired. 
  5. Skip top coat if you don't want to dull the holo (depends on polish).

matte polishes
  1. This type of polish dries fast, so work quickly and do not go over the same place twice.  Use medium coats.  Thin coats will drag and thick coats will create a bit of unevenness.  This will just have to be trial and error.  You'll get the hang of it.
  2. Apply base coat between coats.  This way your second coat won't create bald spots.
  3. Even if there is a bit of unevenness, don't go over it again with the brush.  Just leave it, it'll self level.
  4. Don't forget to cover your tips!

magnetic polishes
  • Do one nail at a time.  The magnetic particles need to be able to swim through the polish to form lines.
  • Use medium coats (this is trial and error).  Thin coats will yield blurry lines and thick ones will actually cause the polish to rise towards the magnet and touch it.
  • Apply your coats evenly: make sure your aren't applying the polish thinner on the sides of your nails.  This might be the reason for "missed" sides with no magnetic lines.
  • Hold the magnet still over your nail for at least 15 seconds.  If you hold it longer, you will get crisper lines. 
  • Use top coat, but not immediately.  Top coat will bring out the shimmer and will strengthen the contrast between the base and the magnetic lines.  Don't apply it too soon though, or you will smear the magnetic lines.  Also make sure your top coat is magnetic friendly; some top coats will smear regardless of dry time.
  • If you still find magnetic polishes difficult, check out Scrangie's Troubleshooting Guide.  She covers every possible mistake you might be making in detail, complete with pictures! 

nail strips
  • Choose the strip closest in size to your nail without it being bigger than your nail.  Remember, you can stretch the nail strips a little.  So there is some flexibility, but be careful if your strips have designs.
  • There are two rounded ends to choose from to place near your cuticle.  I usually use the wider end, which is the attached/perforated side.
  • Use the flat end of a cuticle stick to make sure the edges are securely attached to your nail. 
  • Cover your tips (super important!)
    1. Make sure the nail app is smooth against your nail.  
    2. Cut off the excess, but leave enough to cover your tips. 
    3. Fold the excess underneath your nail.  You can let the excess crinkle up underneath the nail, but make sure the nail app stays smooth on the surface of your nails.  Now take a file and file the under edge of your tips.  (See pics below.)
Orange: covered tip // Red: under edge of nail tip


  1. This is wonderful! Very helpful! Thanks!

    Would you be able to come up with some dips for the dabbing method? I'm terrible at it (thought it seems so simple)... I can never get my chunkie glitters to lay flat or without a huge blob of the base on top of it!

  2. Hi Joy! I've never really thought about glitters. I'll try out different types of glitters and let you know through a blog post. :)


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