If you know me, you know I love to paint my nails. They are painted pretty much 24/7 and I change it up a few times a week.  Painting your nails can be both relaxing as well as a great way to express yourself.  Doing it yourself is inexpensive and the options are vast!
My tips for a great manicure:
  1. Start with clean nails/fingers, meaning any old polish has been removed and you have washed your hands.
  2. Start with a base coat if you want to avoid staining which is more common with dark blue or red polishes.  I love Julep Basecoat.
  3. Try to apply your polish in three stroaks; start in the center near the base just above the cuticle, pushing the polish down towards your cuticle without touching it. Repeat this on each side. The polish does not need to go to the very end of the nail bed. Keep the lines relatively straight for a cleaner look!
  4. To help your manicure last, wrap your tips. You want to do this inbetween the first and second coat of your polish (not the base coat).  With a small amount of polish on the brush, simply  run it along the tip of your nail, holding it vertically like this before doing your second coat.
  5. Now is a good time to clean up any mistakes you made. I use an elf concealer brush dipped in nail polish remover (try Zoya+ Remove or a more natural polish remover) and gently remove any polish from my skin using that.
  6. Apply a topcoat. Fast dry ones are great because you can apply them while your nails are still wet and they will dry very quickly (usually under a minute). I love the Julep Fast Dry topcoat as well as Colour Club 0-60 Speedy topcoat.
  7. Finish with a great hand lotion and/or cuticle oil.
Here are some fun and relatively easy nail art ideas that are especially great for Spring!
VERY simple. Just use a dotting tool or something similiar (pin, toothpick etc).
credit: quite polished
Use a dotting tool and small brush to create cherries! You don’t need a very steady hand for this one.
credit: odeespolishendeavours
This one uses a sponge to create a gradient look. You could use a Konad stamp for the palm tree instead.
credit: ilovekonad
 Water marbling can be tricky but the results are amazing!
credit: thenailnetwork
How adorable are these bows? China Glaze “For Audrey” would be a great base colour!
Or how about stripes?
 Gradient manicures look amazing and are very simple to do using a makeup sponge!
credit: thebeautydepartment
This is a fun look! Use polishes that are opaque in just one coat for the best results.
credit: rebeccalikesnails
A bit more tedious but if you prefer a more dainty girly look check this one out.
credit: emeraldsparkles
 This is definitely perfect for Spring!
credit: lindasnailart
Too cute!
credit: thebeautydepartment
Keep it simple by adding gold glitter.
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Remember to look for “3 free” polishes! Find out if the brand you are buying tests on animals or not. Some vegan brands include Zoya*, Gosh, elf, Nubar and Sparitual, Butter London and Scotch Naturals among others.

* Sign up on Zoya.com using THIS link and get a free bottle of polish! Just pay shipping. Or you can add two more bottles of polish (so three total) and get free shipping! Zoya polish retails for $8/bottle. They are my favourite nail polish brand by far!