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Welcome to your best nail life! We’re here to teach you all the basics.

decorative mani hands decorative mani hands

MANI 101

We're teaching you all the steps to get a salon-perfect manicure at home.


Quick Dry Mani 101



Expert tips and tricks on painting your longest-lasting manicure yet.



Our patented, universal polish bottle handle makes painting your nails easier.


Ready to learn more?

We've put together some additional articles to help you on your nail journey.


The Maintenance

What's an ideal daily nail care routine?

In our beauty routine dreams, we use a good moisturizer for our hands and cuticle oil on our nails in the morning and at night. We recommend applying top coat every third day.

How do I make my manicure last?

Expect your polish to last about 5 days. Aside from top coating every other day, try protecting your polish whenever your hands have do dirty – or not so dirty – work. Polish can chip from banging on your keyboard or while you’re doing the dishes. Take precautions if you know you’re going to put your polish in harm’s way.

Ugh! My polish chipped. How do I fix it fast?

Here’s the plan: Gently dab polish remover on the chip to smooth out the area, let it dry, then reapply your polish and top coat. If you’re pressed for time or don’t have your polish color, O&J Nail Stickers are the best camouflage. If you’ve done major damage, you might just have to redo it.

How do I take care of my nails between manicures?

For the best looking, longest lasting mani, apply cuticle oil daily, and apply clear top coat every third day. Touch up your color as needed.

Is there anything I can do for stronger, healthier nails?

There are so many things you can do! Supplements like Biotin or prenatal vitamins high in amino acids can really help ensure you’re getting the nutrients needed for your dream natural nails. We actually get asked this question so often that we formulated two types of Beauty Tea with ingredients including silica-rich horsetail greenery to support healthy nail growth.

What do I do if my nails are peeling?

Do make time for manis on the regular, and make sure to stick to polish; gels or acrylics could make matters worse. Over-buffing, excessive-hand washing, and exposure to some types of soaps could also cause peeling, as can vitamin-deficiencies. If you’re concerned, chat with your doctor about it.

Do I really need to take polish breaks?

If you see signs of wear and tear or any discoloration, a little vacation might be just what your nails need. While you’re on a color break, regular shaping and daily cuticle care will help nurse your nails back to health in no time.

I have to get these gels off my nails right now or I’m going to go nuts! What do I do?

First, repeat after us: I will not pick my gels off. Second, soak 10 cotton balls in acetone (yes, acetone) nail polish remover. While this is happening, buff the shiny finish off your nails. Now, place one cotton ball on top of your nail, then wrap your entire finger tip with tin foil to hold it in place. Repeat on all 10 fingers. Check to see what’s happening after 10 minutes. You’ll know you’re ready when the gel comes off easily. You may need an orange wood stick to gently loosen any remaining gel from your nail. If you’re having any issues, it’s best to head to a salon for help. Picking or peeling will definitely damage your nail. 100%. Ideally, give your nails a couple days off before redoing your gels, being sure to apply cuticle oil daily to keep nails and cuticles hydrated.

What's the best way to remove glitter polish?

Glitter can sometime seem like it’s never going to go away. The easiest, fastest, bestest way to get rid of a glitter mani is to paint over your glitter polish with non-glitter polish, wait a few minutes for the polish to bond, then wipe away with nail polish remover.

How should I store my polish?

Store your polish like you store your candy: dry, at room temp, and out of the sun. Make sure your polish bottles don’t get too hot (the heat can change the color or consistency) or too cold (which can cause the polish to crystalize). Direct sunlight causes anything with pigment to fade. Once you open a nail polish, it could last up to two years.

Help! I'm a nail biter.

The best thing we think you could do to break a biting habit is give yourself a new nail care routine. Clip and file your nails as short as comfy. Hydrate your cuticles on a daily basis. Keep a file and cuticle serum handy, so when catch yourself biting, you can give yourself a little nail love instead.

The Details

How do I apply the nail art stickers?

Nail Sticker Mani on Polish:

1. Check your polish. Make sure it’s dry, dry, dry!
2. Carefully peel your sticker from the plastic sheet and place on nail.
3. Press firmly around edges.
4. Top coat with clear polish.

Nail Sticker Mani On Gel

1. Wipe surface of cured gel polished nail with alcohol and a cotton pad.
2. Carefully peel your sticker from the plastic sheet and place on nail.
3. Press firmly around edges!
4. Top coat with clear gel polish and cure again.

Like to switch up your mani up?
Skip the top coat! Use tweezers to remove old stickers, then touch up your polish and apply new stickers as you like.

What’s the most flattering nail shape for me?

One approach is to mirror the shape of your cuticle line as a guide. Another way to go is to look at the width of your nail bed: if you have a wider nail bed, try round or square; if you have a narrow nail bed, oval or almond work well. But nails should always make you happy, so go with what you like. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

The basic options are:  

Round: Round is a classic shape that follows the natural shape of your fingertip. Try this if you like short, natural nails and do a lot with your hands.

Square: Square nails have a flat, blunt tip and straight corners. Try this if you have narrow nail beds or prefer to keep your nails short.

Squoval: The signature look of a squoval nail has straight sides and a flat, blunt tip like a square nail, rounded edges like the oval. Try this if you like the strong silhouette of the square but want something softer.

Oval: For those who like a round nail tip but like a longer length, oval nail tips follow the natural shape of your finger tip. Try this if you want to elongate the look of your fingers.

Almond: Almond nails are filed along the sides and tapered at the end to a rounded peak. Try this if you like a fashion-forward mani look.
Pointy: Think extreme almond. Nails are filed along the sides and then to a more dramatic point. Try this if you like a mani with some edge.

People are experimenting with new shapes all the time: Ballerina is a combination of Almond and Squoval and mimics a dancer’s toe shoe; Stiletto is an almond nail shape taken to the pointy extreme; Mountain Peak nails comes to a short, dramatic point, like a baby Stiletto.

Play around. There’s no wrong answer. The best shape for your nails is the one that makes you the happiest!

My cuticles are always dry! What should I be doing differently?

CUTICLE OIL. We’ve said it before and we will seriously never get tired of saying it. We live for cuticle oil. It helps your cuticles stay healthy-looking and hydrated, and that keeps your mani looking fresh. We like to use our cuticle serum twice a day. You’ll see an immediate difference -- a hydrated cuticle just looks healthier -- and even better results over time. It also works with the skin on the sides of your nails since it tends to dry out like your cuticles do.

Is it ok to trim my cuticles?

Technically, sure. But truthfully, there’s not real benefit to it.

Do I need a base coat?

These days it’s a matter of personal preference. Many of the polishes available today are actually formulated to do the job of both base coat and color. A base coat should hydrate and protect your nails, and also create a uniform surface for the polish to stick to. We like using a base coat when it offers extra benefits like strengthening.

What's the best way to pick a polish?

Our golden rule: If it makes you happy, go for it. It’s the most fun part of the whole process. Color is such an easy way to express your style, mood, or celebrate a special occasion or holiday.

What is the deal with 3-Free? 5-Free? 7-Free? 10-Free?

You may have noticed many nail polish brands call out that they are free from a number of harmful chemicals. Some formulas say they are free from certain ingredients but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not using other ingredients that may not qualify as “clean.”

If you are looking for the short list of ingredients to avoid, here are the top 7 common ingredients that are also known to be harmful:

DBP (dibutyl phthalate) Known to cause reproductive harm

Ethyl Tosylamide: Banned for concerns around antibiotic resistance

Toluene: Known to damage circulatory system

Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde Resin: Known carcinogens

Camphor: A known respiratory irritant

Xylene: A known carcinogen

What happens if I mess up one nail? Do I have to start over?

No way! If you mess up one nail, just handle that nail. We like nail polish remover pots because you can remove polish from a single nail without touching any of the others.  

The polish always bubbles when I paint my own nails, what am I doing wrong?

You may need to let your nails dry a bit longer between coats. Also, make sure the polish you are using hasn’t changed consistency from exposure to extreme heat or cold.

How long do I really need to let my nails dry?

If you have the time, a solid 15 minutes will really allow your polish to set. Nail dryers, cold water rinses, and quick-dry sprays and drops are all helpful in speeding the process along -- so does FaceTiming a friend, watching a movie, or catching up on Instagram Stories.


Mani Masterclass

Learn how to paint your nails with us. Ask questions, raise your hand, and paint along in real time with O&J and some of our besties.