We all want beautiful nails. From ultra-feminine French fingertips to fashion-forward bright talons there are plenty of ways to achieve a show-stopping manicure.

Tips on how to get perfectly polished nails
Nails at Jason Wu’s Spring Summer 2012 show were classic, shiny bright red. Image: Showbit

Here are six top tips for gorgeous nails:

1. Prepare the nail’s surface with a buffer. The buffed surface will help nail varnish bond to the nail and stay on longer.

2. Use oil or cuticle cream to soften cuticles. Lightly wipe off the nail’s surface with nail polish remover to rid it of oils.

3. Start off with a base coat, which protects nail from discolouration and helps the varnish stay on longer. You might need a ridge filler, which evens out the nail’s surface too.

4. The best way to put on all nail varnishes is with three strokes. Start with the middle of the nail, then one stroke either side of the first. Add two or three coats and don’t worry if the first coat appears uneven and transparent, it is better to go for several thin layers than fewer thicker as thick nail varnish takes forever to dry.

5. Before screwing the cork of the nail varnish back on the bottle, wipe off the bottle’s top with nail polish remover. This way, the top closes completely which keeps the varnish from drying out.

6. Finish with a top coat, there are both shiny and matte to choose from. If you’re in a hurry both Sèche Vite and Lumos do quick-drying top coats. If you accidentally painted some varnish on the side of the nail, don’t fret. When nails are dry, wash your hands. When skin is wet you can easily scrape off nail varnish. To make your beautiful new varnish to stay on for longer, re-apply top coat every other day.

Remember, practice makes perfect! © COVER MEDIA