I'm a not-so-secret nerd – I blame it on being brought up in the Silicon Valley – and, as such, one of my favorite websites is Lifehacker. Apart from computer and tech advice, it also gives 'life hacks' - basically, small things you can do that will improve your quality of life, whether it's How to Tell if Something is Really a Deal on Black Friday to 10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won't Die.
OK, so the website Lifehacker has nothing to do with nail polish, but I love the concept of 'life hacks,' and there are some that are directly applicable to nail care. Here are my four favorite 'nail hacks' that will make your life so much easier:
1. Use a White Coat for Bright, Opaque Polish
You know what I hate? Runny, thin nail polish. In my opinion, every nail polish should be 100% opaque by the third coat – hah, wouldn't that be nice? Unfortunately, many of my beloved neon shades used to take 4-5+ coats to achieve this, which was a total pain.
Now, I can achieve an opaque look with three coats using any nail polish – as long as I use white underneath. Anytime you're having issues with an un-pigmented formula, just use an opaque white (I like Essie's Blanc, $6 at Amazon) and then put one or two coats of your regular polish on top.
The white polish provides a blank canvas and really shows off even the most un-pigmented formulas. Best of all, you can't even tell a white coat was used – all you'll see is perfect coverage!
2. Use Cold Water to Speed Up Drying Time
image via Beauty Fool
I really did not believe this until I tried it - really, you're going to tell me something as basic as running my nails under cold water will help me dry them? But it actually does work!
Once your nails are halfway dry (dry to the touch, at least) run them under cold water for about 30 seconds. I don't know the science behind it, but somehow this makes nails dry so much faster! Try it yourself and you'll see.
3. Restore Goopy Polish with Nail Polish Thinner
I've already written about how every girl needs some of this in her stash, but let me reiterate: nail polish thinner is a a godsend.
I notice, especially with base and top coats, that polish will get goopy halfway down the bottle. I know that I don't want to throw away that goopy half, especially if I've spent $8 on it! A drop or two of nail polish thinner (I use Seche Restore, $7.95 at Amazon) and your formula will be as good as new again.
4. Taking Off Glitter Polish with Cotton Balls & Foil
During the cold months, I love, love, love glitter polish. What I don't love is removing it – it always used to take me forever.
But the video above shows you an easy way to do it, using nail polish remover (she uses pure acetone, but normal remover also works,) cotton balls (she uses felt, but cotton works just as well) and aluminum foil – start in at around 1:36 – which will save you so much time and energy when dealing with glitter polish!
What do you guys think?
Do you have any favorite nail hacks? What are they? Have you used any of these? Tell me everything and more in the comments section!