To get the minimalist’s-dream cuticle stripe on your own, pull out your clear base and top coat, an accent polish, a thin striping brush, and a piece of aluminum foil. “Start with a sheer coat of base polish to even out the nail bed,” says Betina Goldstein, an editorial manicurist-turned-jewelry designer. “Then dip a skinny brush in the color polish and wipe any excess by running the brush along the aluminum foil.”
To get the right curve, Goldstein recommends starting the stripe as thin as possible, then gradually increasing in thickness toward the middle of the nail bed. “I like to start at the left edge of the nail, starting the line thin and gradually increasing the width, then getting thinner again as you reach the right side of the nail,” she says. “Don’t worry if your line thins out mid-way — you can always do a second coat if you need.” And make sure you’re painting the actual nail, and not the surrounding skin or cuticle. (We recommend keeping some nail polish remover and a brush nearby to fix any mistakes.) To finish, brush on a thick top coat like Essie’s Speed Setter.
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