If you pay any attention whatsoever each Friday, you've noticed I use polka dots on my nails frequently...
So while I am definitely not an expert, I have made quite a few polka dots on my nails at this point - and here are my top tips for getting yours to look boss:
1. USE A DOTTING TOOL
If you give a crap about your dots being symmetrical and/or all uniform (and it's totally fine if you don't), you are going to have to step up from the bobby pin or toothpick you've been using. Yes, both of those tools work fine for putting "a" dot onto your nail. But it won't necessarily be a very well-shaped one. And it's also trickier to have all of your dots the same size when using these tools. Here's an example of what I mean...
These dots are the work of a toothpick - pretty impossible to get all the dots to end up the same size:
You will probably have a bit more luck with a bobby pin than a toothpick, but I'm not in love with the uniformity I get from a bobby pin either. I say "splurge" and get yourself a dotting tool, ladies!
As a bonus point - I think you'll find dotting tools are easier to hold, too, since you can grip them naturally like you would a pencil (or a pen, for all you youngsters out there) (or a Stylus Pen for all you snobby little iPhone-owning pre-teens) (wait, why is that last group reading my blog?) (I've gotten sidetracked).
2. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Seriously, don't ever be scurred to practice your polka dots on a piece of scrap paper. I do it every time I am doing a polka dot mani. Every time! Just make a tiny puddle on a piece of scrap paper with 2-3 drops of polish - don't make a big puddle because the polish will begin to dry and change consistency, becoming tackier the longer it sits exposed to the air. Dip your dotting tool into your tiny puddle and then do 5-10 practice dots on your scrap paper. After enough practice, you won't be nervous or shaky when you go to do the dots on your actual nails.
3. RE-READ TIP #2. BECAUSE I DON'T THINK YOU REALLY BELIEVE ME.
No, seriously. Practice dots, guys. I'm not messing around. Please see Jennie's post here for further proof.
4. THE FRESHER, THE BETTER
It took awhile before I fully realized this one, but the fresher your bottle of nail polish, the better your dots will turn out. With older, thicker, gloopier polishes - or even a newish polish that hasn't been "stirred" well in awhile - dots have a tendency to just look wonkier. The polish comes off the dotting tool sort of tacky, and you may even get a "rise" in the middle of your dot as you pull your tool away from the nail. But with a fresh polish, the dots come off the dotting tool smoother and they look much more fluid and flawless.
And on that note, recently I heard a trick about keeping bottles of polish fresher for longer - make it a habit to wipe the rim of your bottle with a cotton pad soaked in polish remover to remove any excess polish before you put the brush back in and twist it shut. I mean, I don't do it myself. That would take too long. But I hear it's a great tip. #DoAsISayNotAsIDo.
5. AVOID BUBBLES
Sometimes I make a perfectly shaped dot that gets ruined by a rogue bubble inside of it. This is especially annoying when I'm looking at pictures that I've just snapped of an otherwise lovely mani.
Oy! Avoid bubbles in your polish (and thus, ultimately, your polka dots) by rolling your bottle of polish between your palms rather than shaking it like a Polaroid picture or violently smacking it against the heel of your palm. Rolling the bottle between your palms warms up the polish slightly while also mixing it gently.
Annnnd there we have it - my top tips for making perfect polka dots on your nails! Did you learn something new today?
Speaking of learning something new today - it's my 29th birthday! So in honor of growing older, wiser, and WAY more attractive (obvi) - let's hope that I learn at least one new thing today, too. #FistBumpToMyself.
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