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How to: the Perfect Milky-White Manicure

Mon, 21 January 2013 1:03PM

Love it or hate it, white nail polish is proving to be quite the trend on the runway and red carpet these past few months.

Remember blast-from-the-past Rachael Leigh Cook at the People’s Choice Awards?

Here at PRIMPED we’ve came to the conclusion that we should skip the solid block white polish and opt for milkier tones instead like Rachael here. However, it’s all about finding the right consistency, and also applying it correctly to get a streak-free finish. We turned to our white nail polish guru, Leanne Blois from Beauty at Bounce, to get her top tips for painting them at home.

Before we get started, choose your white polish. “You want to find a white nail polish that doesn’t give that Wite-Out effect, so look for one that has more of a transparent finish to it, “ Leanne says. “Milky-white polish is best when it’s new (ideally within the first couple of years of opening).”

Our pick of the white bunch? Essie Nail Lacquer in Waltz, $18.95, David Jones.

Step 1:

Clean your nails with nail polish remover, just to ensure that you don’t have any lint or fluff stuck to your nails. “With pale shades, any lint or leftover nail polish will show up once you begin painting,” Leanne explains.

Step 2:

Apply your base coat, and then slick on a thin layer of white polish, covering your nail in as few strokes as possible (check out the picture above for the amount of polish that you should have on your bristles; brush off any excess on the side of the bottle). Tip: To clean up any spillage on your skin or cuticles, grab an orange stick and dip it in nail polish remover, then twist it in a cotton wool ball; some of the cotton will attach to the stick, which you can then use to clean up the edges of your polish.

Step 3:

“When it comes time to add your second coat, make it a little bit thicker than the first (see picture above). I recommend doing this so you aren’t applying to many thick layers, and also so you aren’t constantly trying to fill in any streaks,” says Leanne. Tip: If you notice any streaky spots, don’t try to fix it, otherwise the finish will differ from nail to nail. The majority of the time the nail polish just needs to settle, and the streaks will smooth themselves out.

Step 4:

Now, grab your top coat, paint no more than four brush strokes per nail, then swish it across the tip of each nail to seal in the colour.

Step 4:

Here’s the finished product! Your nails should be touch-dry in 10 minutes, and completely dry after 30 minutes.

Primpers, how are you at painting milky-white nail polish?

Do you have a favourite polish? Please spill!

Hayley x

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26 Comments

  • Posted by: Jessielyn Master Fan // Mon, 21 January 2013 01:23pm

    I’m not normally a fan of sheer or semi-sheer polishes, but I’m definitely going to give this one a go! Instead of buying a new polish though, I might try mixing my opaque Essie Blanco with a clear polish and see what happens… wish me luck!

  • Posted by: adriennne Master Fan // Mon, 21 January 2013 01:42pm

    I love the look of this, but I don’t often paint my nails myself – tend to go out for a manicure.

    In the past, I’ve found it hard to get a uniform application. You’ve done a great job!

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Mon, 21 January 2013 01:57pm

    Im not really a fan of white or anything without a skin tone colour in it. I would wear a baby pink or cream but never white. I would never be able to pull it off. Perhaps on people with lighter skin it might look good htough. :)

  • Posted by: catn2kittens Master Fan // Mon, 21 January 2013 02:14pm

    I hate sheer polish for precisely this reason, I cannot bear to have streaks, even if they’re faint they drive me crazy! I will have to have another try using the tips above and see if I do any better.

  • Posted by: anitas.artistry Master Fan // Mon, 21 January 2013 02:25pm

    This is so much better than the stark white.
    Thanks Hayley.

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Mon, 21 January 2013 04:12pm

    I tried to apply a white polish about an hour ago but I find it just doesn’t suit me so I had to remove it.
    The above shade suits your skin tone well hayley :)

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Tue, 22 January 2013 10:53am

    Love this look. I ise the Sally Hansen Insta dri in Petal Pusher to get the look. It has just the faintest hint of pink.

  • Posted by: Its_Jess Master Fan // Tue, 22 January 2013 01:05pm

    That looks great! I’m always worried about streaks and try to fill them in… just makes a mess! Thanks for the tips!

  • Posted by: Morning Star Devotee // Tue, 22 January 2013 08:53pm

    I’ve tried and failed many times trying to do this look. Turns out that I’m terrible at painting my nails with pale shades!

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Wed, 23 January 2013 02:02pm

    I prefer stronger more statement colours on my nails. I think this looks nice, but it’s not for me.

  • Posted by: violetflower61230 Enthusiast // Wed, 23 January 2013 04:31pm

    I like how this sheer white looks but I also like the opaque white polish you can get from OPI, it reminds me of when I used to paint my nails with liquid paper in high school.

  • Posted by: loopylexy Master Fan // Wed, 23 January 2013 06:03pm

    I like the milky white but to be honest the Essie one just looks pale pink? Maybe because of the transparency?

  • Posted by: lolo Master Fan // Wed, 23 January 2013 06:42pm

    I too and normally not a fan of sheer polishes BUT this is okay… It looks great on you Hayley, I dont know if I would ever try it out. It reminds me of a french manicure without the french tip which is kind of refreshing!

  • Posted by: GorgeousEmeralds Master Fan // Wed, 23 January 2013 08:57pm

    I do love the white that you have in the pictures above, I didn’t even realise that white was in.
    I have got some semi-sheer polishes but they are all pinky in colour. I need to get a white bottle.

  • Posted by: Daria Devotee // Thu, 24 January 2013 12:22pm

    The finished product there looks really great. I don’t really have a favourite polish Hayley but I do find I like to wear, beautiful bold colours.

  • Posted by: Caz // Wed, 30 January 2013 11:29pm

    Finally stopping biting my nails after 20 years I’m loving all the beautiful bold colours out there (am making my way through OPI collection) I’m just not in a pale pastel mood.

  • Posted by: melany Devotee // Fri, 1 February 2013 12:36pm

    Love the step by step guide.

  • Posted by: Jaimi Enthusiast // Fri, 1 February 2013 01:13pm

    Loving the milky white look, definitely going to give it ago. Always looking for different ways to paint my nails and add a bit of colour in my life.

  • Posted by: Snezana-1319445104 Enthusiast // Fri, 15 March 2013 05:49pm

    Great tip for the nail tips!

  • Posted by: jo77 Master Fan // Tue, 9 April 2013 11:59am

    Mmmm, they look great

  • Posted by: Erin-1312272625 Master Fan // Fri, 7 June 2013 11:09pm

    Good tip. I love my opi pearl white polish

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sun, 9 June 2013 03:58pm

    they look great! thanks for the great tips

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Tue, 11 June 2013 07:46pm

    I much prefer a bit of colour on my nails, this milky white nail would be nice for a change.

  • Posted by: brinsley Master Fan // Sun, 20 July 2014 03:25pm

    Beautiful … a very feminine look … I love it!

  • Posted by: brinsley Master Fan // Sun, 20 July 2014 03:26pm

    I love this look – it’s beautiful … a very feminine look … I love it!

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Thu, 7 August 2014 02:21pm

    I have changed my mind, I tried the milky white nail polish and I love it. Its a fantastic nail look.

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