The nitty gritty of clean up - neat and tidy manicures

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Let's face it - we can have a gorgeous manicure with intricate nail art - but if it looks sloppy around the cuticles it definitely detracts from the finished look.

Does that mean you have to have steady hands and precise polish strokes around our cuticles?

Not at all. I often get polish on and around my cuticles. But it's pretty easy to clean up if you have the right tools.

Let's take a look.

Here is a photo of my nails before clean up.  I was intentionally a little messier than normal.

Manicure before clean-up
Manicure before clean-up
You will need one of the brushes and a small container of nail polish remover.

Clean up brushes and acetone
Clean up brushes and acetone
Here is one of the types of brushes you can use. This is a concealer brush from e.l.f. I picked this up at Target for around $2.
Elf concealer brush used for nail polish clean up
Elf concealer brush used for nail polish clean up
Here is the bristles on the brush. The acetone doesn't eat the bristles away on these brushes. I have tried different brushes and have pulled the brush out of the acetone just to find out the bristles were gone - completely gone. The edge on this one is getting a little ratty. It's probably time for me to grab another one.

Elf concealer brush used for nail polish clean up
E.l.f. concealer brush used for nail polish clean up
You can also use the e.l.f. small angled brush. I really don't think I have a preference between the brushes. They both work great.

Elf small angled brush used for nail polish clean up
Elf small angled brush used for nail polish clean up
Elf small angled brush used for nail polish clean up
Elf small angled brush used for nail polish clean up
To clean up your cuticles simply dip the tip of the brush in the remover. You don't want too much remover on the brush so lightly daub it on a piece of paper or on the side of the container. Use the tip of the brush and clean up the polish around your cuticles. You can get right next to the nail with this and it make the edges clean and crisp. I use it around the base of my nail too. This makes the polish line neat and tidy. After you swipe some polish off of your cuticles wipe the brush on a paper towel or rag. I have a towel that stays on my chair. It is definitely rainbow colored now. You wipe the brush on the rag to get rid of the polish residue on the brush. If you don't you will transfer a thin film of color to your cuticles and fingers.




After clean up. This is Sally Hansen Twisted Pink.
What are your tips for a neat and tidy manicure?

16 comments

  1. Great post, thanks :) I've been meaning to get a good brush for clean up, I should really just go for it hah

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  2. Thank you for sharing your secrets! <3 Your nails are absolutely AMAZING! <3

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  3. Love my Elf brush!! Great idea for the post!

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  4. Haha that's awesome, those are exactly the 2 I use for clean up!! I had bought the MASH set of brushes and the one that was perfect for cleanup ended up being eaten away from acetone. :(

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  5. Its amazing how many people still don't know about this tip! Glad to see it refreshed now and then.

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  6. o0oo0 Thank you so much Kelly!! I am one of the people who had no idea of this tip and always wondered how everyone got their nails so nice and clean near the cuticles! I have been using pointy qtips but even when it looks clean I take a photo and it has a stain there. YAY I'm going to try this soon!!! Thanks again! <3

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  7. I just use hot soapy water and the edge of a dotting tool when 100% dry (next day to be sure), with soap it doesn't scratch your skin, it's cheap and there's no risk of damaging your polish with acetone.

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  8. Thank you for this tutorial! I found myself at Target today and happily left with two of the Elf concealer brushes ($1 each). I got home and tried them out...just right. Much appreciated!

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you like it. It's super simple and easy!

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  9. Yes. i use the concealer brush. Amazing result. This is great especially as a blogger, when you swatch and take pictures. Waiting till the next day as someone said above is probably only possible for everyday people. Lol.. Blogger need it clean NOW, so we can take pictures and get going. Lol

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  10. Thank you so much for showing exactly which brushes you use, with photos. I've been debating which of the e.l.f. brushes to get and had it narrowed down to a few and these were in those I had chosen to get. Every time I think I've gotten clean-up down, I take photo's that prove me wrong so I'm glad I've run across this post to help me improve on my clean-up routine. :)

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