Shit You Should Know: How To Paint Your Own Nails (With Trophy Wife)


We’re not sure if Chelsea Bagan can be totally credited for bringing the nail art whirlwind to Melbourne, but in our eyes she’s certainly the girl who made the global trend achingly cool. Trophy Wife Nail Art started as her alone in a room above a Brunswick street store, and now has evolved into the fun girl mecca that is her Richmond Trophy Wife Salon. Here you can have your nails done by her or one of her team, your hair perfectly cut and dyed, and hang out among a million plants with their budgies Kim and Kanye while listening to cool tunes and pretending for a moment you’re in the sweetest girl gang in town.

Considering she’s the resident nail expert we thought we’d swing by and find out once and for all how you’re supposed to do your nails properly.


Step 1: Filing

When filing, never saw them back and forth, do it in one direction otherwise it can split your nail. Use a file that’s not too rough, glass files are good because they’re relatively high grit, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a file—you can just get cheap ones.


Step 2: Prep the nail

Before you do a manicure wipe your nails with nail polish remover. I use acetone because it’s quicker and better. But acetone free is fine, acetone is to purify the nail. For a normal person doing their nails once a week acetone won’t damage them.

If you don’t like acetone you can get natural water based polishes that are easier to remove.


Step 3: Base coat

Base coat is good because some colours can stain your nails—greens, yellows and dark colours. But also prolongs the life of you nail polish and provides an even surface for the polish to adhere to. It helps ridged nails and streaking to disappear.


Step 4: Colour coat

My suggestion would be to not have too much polish on your brush. Put the brush in the middle of the nail and push it back towards the cuticle, brush it down rather than going straight down, then fill in the sides. It stops it from getting all over your cuticles. Always do you base layer quite thin.


Step 5: Second colour coat

You basically just put the ball of the brush on the edge of where the nail is and follow the other layer. Then you need to cap the edge (drag the brush along the edge of the nail to seal it). The second coat you put on a bit thicker just to get a better colour.

A lot of people think you have to wait ages for it to dry but you don’t, you just shouldn’t press to hard when applying polish. I think when people do it, especially when they’re doing it themselves and it’s awkward, they press really hard and do it really slowly. You need to do quick strokes and press lightly. It’s drying as soon as you apply it.


Step 6: Top Coat

With this one you want to apply it relatively thickly and quickly, and you also want to do the capping at the edge. You should really cap every layer that you do because it’s the tips that chip.

Then I would suggest you put a clear coat on every second day or so to make it last longer. Don’t wash any dishes, water is the devil, put cuticle oil cream on—keep it next to your bed and put it on every night it keeps them moisturised.

Dry then in front of a fan if you have one.


Enjoy your grown ass woman manicure!

Images by Thomson



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