Fashion Maven: Find the right polish to make your nails pop

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I don’t know about you, but I consider nail polish more of an accessory than a makeup product. Up to this point in your life, you probably have tried every shade and every style of nail polish on the market, which is a good thing because you have a head start compared to the nail-polish-illiterate.
The possibilities of nail painting are endless. In my opinion, the way to get the most beautiful nails of all is to use your imagination, to experiment and to practice until you get the manicure that you want.
For the unmotivated, I have a few pre-conceived ideas for you to work with.
As with anything else, begin with the basics. Start by washing your hands or feet very well for a few minutes with warm soap and water.
They need to be clean and the skin needs to be soft. Then, with the flat end of a cuticle stick, push back your cuticles and eliminate any dirt under your nails, also using the cuticle stick. Trim your nails with nail scissors or clippers to the desired shape.
Then file them, but file only in one direction, otherwise your nails may split.  
After the initial prep work, you’re ready to get busy with polishing your nails.
If your nail polish is clumpy, stick it in the fridge for five minutes, this will help smooth it out.
Limit brush strokes to three per nail: one streak down the middle of the nail from cuticle to fingertip, one on the left and one on the right.
Always finish up by coating your manicure or pedicure with a clear polish to make it last longer.
If you want your nails to be out of the ordinary, then I have a few ideas for inspiration.
For a sparkly manicure, coat your nails in brush-on nail glue and dip each one in a container of craft glitter.
Put another layer of the nail glue on top and after it has dried, apply a layer of clear polish to your nails.
For a bejeweled look, you can stick tiny little rhinestones or pearls onto your nails in a consistent pattern or shape with clear polish.
If you like the look of snakeskin, try taking some fishnet stockings and cutting 10 pieces to fit each nail.
Paint each nail a metallic or bright color. After that dries, put a coat of different polish over it. Immediately, press the fishnet pieces onto your nails. Let it dry for about two minutes and then pull the fishnet off.
Do not apply a clear coat or the polish will smear. Another idea is to put pieces of lace cut to the shape of each nail on top of some clear or colored polish, with a coat of clear polish on top to finish the manicure off.
I always get excited when I come up with a new idea for how to paint my nails. After all, you will never know what a little paint will do!

--Alexandra Hehlen