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35 Clever Nail Hacks You Should Be Using

35 Clever Nail Hacks You Should Be Using

Although it may sound a little silly, there few things more annoying than painting your nails, only to then have it smudge or crack. Well no more! Here are 35 nail hacks you should be using to keep your nails strong, healthy and beautiful.

1. Apply thin layers of polish

nails
    www.lacquerized.com

    Applying thick layers means that only the top later will dry, leaving the rest of your nail polish prone to smudging. By applying a few thin coats, you ensure your hard work will stay put longer.

    2. Make your own nail art dotting tool

    DIY Dotting Tool
      thebeautydepartment.com

      If you like to get a little creative with your nails then this tool from The Beauty Department is a necessity! Simply get a pin and eraser and get creative.

      3. DIY Glitter Nail Polish

      fdljkdf
        www.thecraftedsparrow.com

        Becca of The Crafted Sparrow shows easy way to DIY your own glittery nail polish. This is fantastic if you want a little some control over just how glittery your nail polish is.

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            4. Remove stubborn glitter polish using tin foil

            19 glitter removal
              www.lacquerheadsofoz.com

              For this method to work, you must first place your cotton pad or ball in nail polish remover and let it soak in. Then place the saturated cotton on your nail and wrap your finger in tin foil, making sure it’s tight. After 10 minutes that glitter polish should come straight off.

              5. Acetone + Glycerine = Best nail polish remover ever

              diy-polish-remover-480x480
                blackcatnails.com

                This mix is a wonderful replacement for damaging 100% acetone removers.

                6. Use an elastic band or band aids to get the perfect french tip

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                french-tip-tutorial
                  French-Tip-Trick-Nails
                    www.nailnerd.com
                    band aid
                      www.deluneblog.com

                      7. Or purchase this nifty nail tool

                      grid-cell-29147-1380811857-16
                        www.frenchtipdip.com

                        grid-cell-29147-1380811857-14

                          Get it here!

                          8. Get the perfect manicure using this chart

                          Manicure
                            www.lacquerized.com

                            9. Create your own nail polish remover jar

                            b4c24cf52d0b3caf54e7852342740f4d
                              revistaquem.globo.com

                              10. Whiten your nails using toothpaste

                              11. Remove mistakes without ruining the nail polish

                              enhanced-6951-1400771959-14
                                www.makeupandbeautyblog.com

                                Dip a thin makeup brush or paint brush into your polish remover and clean up those messy bits!

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                                12. Use cold water to dry nails faster

                                nails7
                                  www.babble.com

                                  After two minutes of waiting for your nails to dry in the air, submerge them in ice cold water for a further three minutes (take breaks if you need to).

                                  13. Add corn starch to clear nail polish to create a matte look

                                  2013-02-22_13-52-01_355
                                    anonionexposed.blogspot.co.uk

                                    Use this mixture as a top coat and you’ll have instant matte nails.

                                    14. Get a glittery, manicured look, using a sponge

                                    sponge glitter
                                      zszywka

                                      15. Create a leopard print using pencil erasers

                                      leopard print
                                        thebottomlesspaddlingpool

                                        16. Use a white base coat to make your nails neon

                                        neon nails
                                          michellephan.com

                                          17. The easiest nail art tool of all – a Sharpie

                                          sharpie nails
                                            thebeautydepartment.com

                                            18. Apply a thick layer of hand cream before removing nail polish

                                            Hand-and-Body-Lotion-New-Wmk1-e1370346924323
                                              wholenewmom.com

                                              Dark polish can stain your skin, especially if you’re pale. By applying a layer of hand cream you make it almost impossible for the polish to stain.

                                              19. Apply Vaseline around your nail to stop any messy mistakes sticking

                                              06IVnjrYSCL7imE44bqlXWwa
                                                michellephan.com

                                                20. Shellac hack

                                                shellachack11
                                                  handmakemyday.com

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                                                  shellachack2

                                                    Finally! Click here to get the full tutorial.

                                                    21. Here’s how to fix a broken nail

                                                    ee0c83b158534c75359730e6dbe8ae50
                                                      www.honeymunchkin.com

                                                      22. Super fancy feather nails

                                                      Nail-DIY-Nails-Tutorials-7
                                                        www.lydiasnails.com

                                                        23. Create an easy ombre on your nails

                                                        ombre-nails-tutorial-creatinglaura
                                                          www.creatinglaura.com

                                                          24. Avoid bubbles by rolling your nail polish, not shaking it

                                                          TBDpolishbubbles1
                                                            thebeautydepartment.com

                                                            25. Not all nail shapes are created equal

                                                            nails14
                                                              www.beautylish.com

                                                              26. Make your own cuticle cure at home

                                                              enhanced-buzz-5728-1387815447-7
                                                                www.julep.com

                                                                27. Take care of your cuticles

                                                                600a4fea3515bb16961cf2669f27c142
                                                                  indulgy.com

                                                                  Healthy cuticles equal healthy nails. Never cut your cuticles, but instead gently push them back and keep them moisturized.

                                                                  28. Keep your nail kit to yourself

                                                                  glasses-case_300
                                                                    www.realsimple.com

                                                                    That is, unless you like sharing germs and risking infection.

                                                                    29. Use a glass file rather than a plastic one

                                                                    Glass nail file
                                                                      www.happy-mothering.com

                                                                      Glass files are significantly more hygienic and are less damaging to your nails than their metal counterparts.

                                                                      30. Find the best shade of red to suit your skin tone

                                                                      nails16
                                                                        www.makeup.com

                                                                        31. Get the best nude too

                                                                        nails3-2
                                                                          theglitterguide.com

                                                                          32. Use vinegar to make your polish stay on even longer

                                                                          8736713831_6fb817d842_o
                                                                            www.thestyledossier.com

                                                                            33. Pair the best colors in your mani pedi

                                                                            nails9-2
                                                                              laurenconrad.com

                                                                              34. Master the perfect DIY manicure

                                                                              218cf5a1daa74a74aee584c47511bb09
                                                                                laurenconrad.com

                                                                                35. Make the perfect nail polish storage box

                                                                                TBDnailpolishstoragebox
                                                                                  thebeautydepartment.com

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Girl Nail Art Design via picjumbo.com

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                                                                                  Siobhan Harmer

                                                                                  Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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                                                                                  Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                                                                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                                                                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                                                                  Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                                                                  Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                                                                                  I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                                                                  You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                                                                  Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                                                                  When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                                                                  I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                                                                  Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                                                                  Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                                                                  Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                                                                  1. The Inner Critic

                                                                                  This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                                                                  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                                                                  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                                                                  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                                                                  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                                                                  The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                                                                  Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                                                                  2. The Worrier

                                                                                  This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                                                                  The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                                                                                  3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                                                                  This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                                                                                  This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                                                                  The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                                                                  4. The Sleep Depriver

                                                                                  This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                                                                  The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                                                                  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                                                                  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                                                                  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                                                                  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                                                                  How can you control these squatters?

                                                                                  How to Master Your Mind

                                                                                  You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                                                                  Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                                                                  There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                                                                  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                                                                  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                                                                  This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                                                                  The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                                                                  Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                                                                  For the Inner Critic

                                                                                  When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                                                                  You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                                                                  For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                                                                                  You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                                                                                  “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                                                                  If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                                                                  • They rile up the Worrier.
                                                                                  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                                                                  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                                                                  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                                                                  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                                                                  Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                                                                  Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                                                                  For the Worrier

                                                                                  Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                                                                  Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                                                                  You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                                                                  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                                                                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                                                  • Muscles tense

                                                                                  Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                                                                  If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                                                                  Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                                                                  “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                                                                  Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                                                                  If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                                                                  Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                                                                                  Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                                                                                  For example:

                                                                                  If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                                                                  “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                                                                  Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                                                                  “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                                                                  Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                                                                  For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                                                                  Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                                                                  The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                                                                  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                                                                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                                                                  • Muscles tension

                                                                                  I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                                                                  Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                                                                  Breathe in through your nose:

                                                                                  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                                                                  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                                                                  • Focus on your belly rising.

                                                                                  Breathe out through your nose:

                                                                                  • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                                                                  • Focus on your belly falling.
                                                                                  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                                                                  Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                                                                  Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                                                                                  One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                                                                                  Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                                                                  For the Sleep Depriver

                                                                                  (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                                                                  I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                                                                  Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                                                                  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                                                                  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                                                                  When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                                                                  From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                                                                  For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                                                                  If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                                                                  You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                                                                  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                                                                  • Shut down your thinking.
                                                                                  • Calm your feelings.
                                                                                  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                                                                  The Bottom Line

                                                                                  Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                                                                  You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                                                                  Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                                                                                  More About Mental Strength

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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