Polish application

Nail polish preparation

Before applying nail polish, shake the bottle well as some colours tend to separate or settle. The small stainless steel balls found in the bottom of many bottles help keep the mixture uniform in colour and consistency and facilitate smooth application.

Application technique for nail colour

Always protect the nail plate with a base coat, Mavala 002 or Barrier-base, and allow it to set before applying polish. Use long, even strokes when applying nail polish; avoid dabbing. The second coat will cover missed areas. Dip brush into polish and wipe off excess on bottle neck (only inside to avoid sticking of cap onto the bottle).

Test consistency of polish on nail tip before beginning.

Begin by applying polish down to the centre of the nail in one stroke, from base to tip, leaving a small space between polish and cuticle.

Apply polish to cuticle base, stopping just short of the cuticle.

Lift brush and stroke one side of nail from base to the tip, avoiding the cuticle.

Stroke other side of nail from base to tip. If colour has touched the cuticle or skin, wait until the polish has dried and remove with a cotton wool wrapped cuticle stick dipped in nail polish remover, or use MAVALA's handy Correcteur pen which is designed for this purpose.


Apply nail polish in thin layers. It will dry quicker and hold longer.

To make your manicure even last longer, apply Colorfix top coat and / or Mavadry following the final coat of polish and allow to dry thoroughly. An additional coat of Colorfix applied every second day will extend the life of a manicure.

Avoid living open the nail polish bottle too long and store it in upright position.

Keep the bottle neck always clean, so that opening stays easy.

Always screw tight the cap on the bottle after use.

Fantasy nails

These are fun - great for a party ! Some professional manicurists specialize in what is known as "nail art" and the results can be spectacular. The do-it-yourself nail artist is advised, however, to keep it simple.

Various arrangements of stripes and dots can be achieved by using a cotton-tipped Cuticle Stick saturated with nail polish remover or, easier yet, Mavala Correcteur pen.

Subtle or dramatic graduations of colour are possible by applying the same colour in different densities or by using different but related colours. Combinations of contrasting colours, or cream and pearlized colours, can create other decorative effects.

For still more elaborate decoration, decals can be applied to the nail over a protective base coat. A top coat is important for durability and protection. For a festive effect, sprinkle metallic or coloured "glitter" over the base coat while it is still quite sticky, let dry and apply two layers of top coat to "fix". Metalllic polishes can give a rich, "precious metal" look to the nails. Let your imagination be your guide !

How to enhance the shape of your nails

There is no firm rule as to the form nail polish should follow on the nail. The simplest way is to cover the entire nail surface, but this may not best enhance your hands.

The important thing to remember is that, whatever shape you choose, the free edge is neat and clean and the cuticles are completely free of polish. Here are some ideas to help you visually improve the shape of your nails.

Short, square nails


In order that the length of the free edge is not out of proportion, the nail must not be too long. Keep the top fairly straight, slightly rounded at the sides, but be careful not to file too deeply at the edge.


If you are using a coloured enamel, leave a narrow strip on either side free to elongate the nail. This will require practice. Try also colouring under sides of the free edge with MAVALA Nail White Crayon and adding a coat of transparent polish, or using one of our French Manicure Kits.

Fanned or triangular nails


Following the shape of the fingertip, file the nail into an oval; do not allow it to project far beyond the tip.


Leave a narrow space between polish and cuticle to visually lengthen the nail.

Long, almond-shaped nail


This is the ideal nail shape and can be allowed to grow as long as you wish. File into an oval shape, but without a point which is unesthetic.


The entire nail can be covered with polish, or leave the half moon at the nail base free of polish. This is difficult to do and requires practice.

Long, rectangular nail


This nail shape is equally attractive long or short. For a strong look, file the free edge flat across the top leaving the sides straight.


Cover the entire nail with polish, or leave a narrow strip free of polish up each side for dramatic effect.

Round nail


This nail is as long as it is wide so let the free edge grow and shape into an oval to elongate the nail. Avoid a too long free edge.


To make the nail look longer, leave a strip up either side free of colour.