Apply Glitter Polish, Decals, and Jewels Like It's NBD

With these game-changing tips.

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The Easy Way to Remove Glitter

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Models wore a light gold manicure for the spring 2017 Paul Penaranda show in New York City. Photograph courtesy of Mireya Acierto/Getty Images
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1. Don't Use the Brush

Before you crack open that bottle of glittery goodness, save yourself the headache of an unnecessary glitter-bombing by choosing the right application tool. "Glitter nail polishes can be applied with a makeup sponge," says Christina Klug, the assistant brand manager of Paintbox nail salon in New York City. "Always apply a base coat—that will help with easier removal of the polish."

"Remember: don't leave the color on for longer than a week."

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And if you've ever worried you were harming your nails by using glitter polish, never fear—Klug says you can wear as much as you like without doing any damage to your nails.

2. Apply a Little Pressure

Angrily swiping at your nails with remover isn't going to do you or your sparkling lacquer any good, especially when all you have to do is ease the glitter off of your nails. "Saturate a cotton ball with remover, and press it onto the nail for approximately five seconds," Klug says. "If you do that before rubbing your polish off, you'll loosen the glitter." This technique can also be used with decals and jewels that have been on your nails for a while. If the adhesive isn't letting up, try holding down the soaked cotton swab for 10 seconds before removing.

Don't Let Dark Colors Ruin Your Vibe

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Black is a staple because it goes with every single piece of clothing ever made. But be warned: it can be tricky to apply! Photograph courtesy of Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

3. Avoid Those Dreaded Stains

This season, it's all about the dark and brooding polishes, but deep pigments can leave behind unwanted residue during the removal process. Tackle the problem before it even has the chance to appear. "Apply a base coat prior to application," Klug says. "Also, remember: don't leave the color on for longer than a week." Yes, it's that simple.

Paint Your Nails Like a Pro

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A nail artist uses a tiny brush for extra precision before the spring 2017 Jonathan Simkhai show in New York City. Photograph courtesy of Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

4. Cool It With the Layers

Instead of sloshing globs of paint all over your nails, start off with a small amount and be patient. "Your first coat should be applied more thinly than the second, which can be a little more generous," Klug says. "Make sure the polish is all on the tip of the brush, too. That can make for a smoother application."

5. Keep It Clean

It's possible to paint inside the lines of your nails: you just have to cheat a little bit. Photograph courtesy of Matteo Valle/Getty Images

Nobody's perfect, so don't freak out if a bit of polish spills over the sides and cuticles. Here's how the pros fix this very common mistake. "You can simply clean up with a small brush dipped in acetone or remover," Klug says. "Or, when you apply the topcoat, add some over the skin, wait for it to dry, and then remove with a brush."

6. Stay Chip-Free

Make that fire-engine red last all week long. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

For a little while, at least. "Cap the free edge with lacquer," Klug says, which means brushing the polish over the tip of your nail so it can wrap all the way around it. "You should also apply quick-dry drops about five minutes after you layer on the topcoat."

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