This is what I grab when it's time for a new manicure: base and top coats, color, the trusty remover pen, and a bottle with some remover in. Completed with a piece of paper tissue.
Pen? Why? Well, I'm just so clumsy that I don't feel comfortable using a brush. I need the sturdiness of the pen tip to be sure I don't accidently do an uncontrolled stroke. As you can see the tip is pretty sharp, so you have excellent precision with it.
The pen I use is a random no brand pen, available at
About when I start the application of the color polish, I open up my small bottle of remover. I use one I feel is handy enough, which just happens to be a small old Zoya Remove+ bottle. The content isn't Remove+, but my usual, way cheaper remover, and I only keep about 1 cm/0.4 inch of it in the bottle. Then I just pop the pen in it to let it soak while I apply my polish.
Why do I do this? Well, the remover that comes with the pencil isn't always that great, and no matter what, the pen will be empty pretty much at once, while the tip is still fresh. This way, the tip is soaked and some excess remover will find its way up into the pen as well. Be sure though to only keep the small amount of remover in the bottle - if there's too much, the pen will have remover all over it and you risk compromising your manicure while holding it.
This is what my fresh manicure often looks like. Not bad, but not good either. And please note that this is my left hand (and I'm right-handed).
Sometimes it is a lot messier, like my right hand this particular time. Look at all the cuticle pooling on the pinky! Some of us have crazy back pains at times, and no matter how hard you try, or how experienced you are, a steady paint job while having a back pain just isn't that easy...
Now, when you take the pen out of the bottle, you need to wipe off some excess remover to avoid flooding your nail with it. Just dab the tip on the paper tissue.
First, I remove excess color on my surrounding skin. When it's close to the nail, like it is here, I lean the tip on the edge of my nail to avoid accidental strokes on the nail plate.
Then, I remove excess color on the nail plate, near the cuticle, to get that sharp, perfect look. I put the tip down somewhere near the top of the cuticle, and then just slide it down the sides of my nail.
In between, wipe the pen tip off on the paper tissue. I typically wipe it after each stroke. When you notice the tip is drying out, just dip it in your bottle again.
This is what it looks like when I'm done.
And in this crappy photo you can see that even the super flooded right pinky looks decent! Just a tiny bit of leftover color in a skin crack... Which will eventually come out when washing hands, moisturizing and such.
I know these photos are really bad, but since I needed help to shoot a few pictures while I was using both my hands, I had to do this pretty late, and my lighting is crap! Now you'll have to tell me if you think these are good enough for you to get the picture (pun intended), or if you think I should make a new attempt later. Or if this post maybe just isn't very helpful at all. Please don't be shy to leave comments!
Photos with two hands involved by Fredrik D.
Swedish word of the day:
städa -verb clean [up], tidy up
Because we all have to, in one way or another.