Go the distance with your at-home manicure

Go the distance with your at-home manicure

Handy tips for your fingertips

Text: Renée Batchelor

If you haven't got time for a trip to the nail salon, Butter London's global colour ambassador Katie Jane Hughes has some sage advice

If you've ever looked at your nails in utter dismay but couldn't swing a salon appointment, fret not. Painting your nails at home without looking like your three-year-old niece did your paint job, can be a real possiblity with the right nail polish and some much-needed know how. Katie Jane Hughes, a global colour ambassador with cult nail polish line Butter London, has worked backstage at the London and New York Fashion Weeks creating some of the best nail trends that you've seen at shows like Temperley London and Nicole Miller. Hughes gives us her expert advice on helping your manicure look good and stay chip-free.

Butter London Patent Shine 10X

Tip 1: Go oil-free
"It's very important to remove oils from your nails before you put any kind of nail lacquer on. You need to consider the lacquer remover you're using and if it contains any oils. Oils will not allow the lacquer to stick to the nail and therefore your paint job won't last that long. I swear by Butter London Scrubbers which are nail polish remover wipes and straight-up acetone.

Tip 2: Thin is in
"The thinner you paint your coats of nail polish, the better. This helps your lacquer dry quicker and last longer. It's important to be in control of what's on your brush when you're painting. To make sure there's lacquer on only one side of the brush, pull the brush out of the bottle pressing one side of the brush against the neck of the bottle to remove any polish on the other side."

Tip 3: Cap it off
"The tip of the nail is where your pretty paint job will start to chip first. Cap the free edge of your nail, by skimming excess lacquer across the tip so a bit goes over and under the nail. Your polish won't chip as quickly. Do this with all layers of lacquer."

Tip 4: Clean up job
"If you get any polish on the skin under or around the nail you can use an old lip or concealer brush (and not fuzzy Q-tips) dipped in acetone to remove stains."

Tip 5: Pick a user-friendly polish
"Patent Shine 10x by Butter London is a brand new and exciting product to hit the market. It has some cool benefits from helping to strengthen and brighten the nails, to wearing for up to 10 days. The best part is you don't need a base or top coat for it to work to its full potential. It's also 7-free, meaning it contains no formaldehyde, toluene or camphor. There are 12 shades in Singapore and they are very opaque and are all cream polishes (meaning there is no metal or shimmer to it). Plus this polish has an easy-to-use wide brush, making it easier to paint your nails yourself."

Butter London Patent Shine 10x, $25, is at Sephora.

Follow the brand @butterlondon and Katie Jane Hughes @katiejanehughes on both Instagram and Twitter.