Like an artist who carefully paints the tiniest details, you need a steady hand to apply the perfect coat of nail polish. It's hard enough to do a smooth layer of solid color, but intricate nail art gets even trickier. One slip-up sends polish off the nail and streaking across your skin. Luckily, you don't need to hit up the salon for a smear-free paint job. With a bit of tape or petroleum jelly, you'll keep fingertips safe from almost any polishing mishap.
Wash your hands, nails and fingers with warm water and soap. Dry hands very well with a towel.
Cut three small pieces of scotch or masking tape per finger, for a total of 30 pieces.
Take hold of one finger and put one piece of tape below the nail and two on the sides of your finger. Leave the nail exposed. Repeat with all of the fingers.
Paint your nails as usual. Wait for the polish to dry completely before taking off the tape.
Clean your hands and fingers with soap and warm water. Pat dry with a towel.
Dip a cotton swab in some petroleum jelly, and wipe the skin around each nail with a thin layer of jelly, but don't get any on the nail itself.
Paint your nails and allow the polish to dry. Wipe the petroleum jelly off with a towel, or rub it into your skin -- it's an effective moisturizer for dry hands.