So you have painted some of your nails with your right hand, and now its time to paint the remaining nails with your left hand….
Working in reverse is always hard, not to mention when you have delicate polishing to do!
If you have been in the position where you have a great new nail polish only to find that you can only apply it with your dominant hand, then I fully understand your frustration and the predicament you find yourself in.
You are not alone – its a common problem and a frequent question I get. Thankfully it is one in which can be resolved.
With the right technique, some time to practice and using my following tips, you’ll be able to apply polish from your left hand in no time.
The main thing to consider is that, like anything new, its going to be extra difficult and feel uncomfortable at first. Its probably why you are here.
The more you are able to practice the easier it will become. If you are practicing once or twice per week, you should notice that you are quite proficient in a couple of weeks or months.
Here’s the key takeaway from this post, and if you don’t get anything more from it, this is the key point: the best way to paint your nails with your left hand is to find a comfortable, solid position and way of holding your brush. This way, you can remain consistent and practice using this form. The more you practice using the same technique, the more you will find your non-dominant hand learn to be used in this way. This will ensure that you feel in control of your brush, are more steady, and can apply the right amount of force and control in your application.
So whether you are a complete beginner or just struggling to pick it up, lets now look at the step by step process to ensuring that you can paint your nails right using your non-dominant left hand.
This will help you to get started straight away, and to get better and better from this moment forward:
How To Paint Your Nails With Your Left Hand
Step One: The first step should always be to ensure that your nails, and your work area, is fully clean. You should start off by running your hands under warm water and applying some soap. Scrub gently to ensure that any potential loose skin/nail is removed.
From here, after I have dried my nails, I like to completely cleanse my nails prior to my Nail Polish application with a chemical free, and naturally safe Nail Polish Remover. I do this using a Cotton Ball and it really helps to prepare the foundation of my nails – ensuring that the Nail Polish adheres better to my nails and doesn’t become flakey.
Step Two: Before jumping into the polishing itself, you will want to push back your cuticles. I like to do this with a wood stick (like these). This will give you more space for your nail polish when you get to the actual application itself
Step Three: Soon we will be applying the Base Coat. But before we do, you can use the Base Coat Brush (without any polish on) to practice your hand position.
Now before you actually start to use the applicator and paint onto your nails, spend some time just holding the brush with your Left Hand. Try to find a position that seems right and that is most comfortable. It will feel strange at first but it will become more natural as you do this more regularly.
Step Four: From here, place your Left hand on your work surface (table) as relaxed as you can, and straighten your small little finger out. Then tuck your ring finger under your hand. It should look like this:
Step Five: With your Left Hand resting in the position above on the table in front of you, hold your Base Coat brush using your thumb and your index finger. If you feel that this is not very secure, you can always use the next finger to hold the brush in place.
By doing this and using the table in front of you, you are able to steady your hand and use your fingers to manipulate the brush for nail polishing.
You can practice several times without applying any polish to the brush. This way, you can really get to understand what feels comfortable and what doesn’t.
Also, use the above steps as a template and as a framework to work from. You will find that you are not able to take up this position at all times during the next following steps (like when you have to prepare your polish etc). However, you will find when its time to actually apply, the above positioning works very well (particularly if you have an unstable or shaky hand).
Step Six: Its time to apply your Base Coat. Spin the brush in the bottleneck to make the brush skinny and round, and to remove any access Base Coat.
From here, you will want to apply the Base Coat onto your nail tips by holding the brush still and in place and moving your fingers sideways.
This is the real trick – if you can keep the brush still and in place, then you can manipulate and move your fingers accordingly.
Step Seven: Next you are going to apply your Base Coat onto your nail plate. For this, you will want to make the brush flat by applying pressure from the brush against the bottleneck to create this effect:
Hold the brush still and in place and then pull your right hand back to create the strokes. You can also roll your fingers to the side to paint the side of your nails.
Step Eight: Now you can apply a color nail polish. The steps are actually the exact same as how you will have applied your base coat above. You can also move onto this step first if you decide that you do not want to use a base coat (however I would strongly recommend that you do)
So start by spinning the Color Polish brush in the bottleneck to make it round. Next, apply on to your Nail Tips. do this for each and every nail:
Step Nine: To apply on to your nail plates neatly, it is important to control the amount of polish on the brush. You can do this by scraping off the excess polish from the stick part of the brush in the Color Polish bottle itself. Less polish is always better, as you can always apply another coat if needs be.
To get a brush with an optimum amount of Polish on, a great tip is to scrape the brush halfway down the bottle and then scrape the entire opposite side of the brush against the opposite side of the bottle. This will create a drip of polish on one side of the brush.
Step Ten: To apply the Nail Color Polish to your nail plates, start just before the cuticle line and gently pull your brush over your hand.
Use a corner of the brush to draw a nice round cuticle line and then a straight line on the side of the nail. You can always stop and change the angle of your hand.
If you have big thumbnails you can create two strokes in the middle instead of one. I also advise that you stroke gently to avoid digging into the layer underneath.
If you accidentally apply too much polish to your nails , you can always use a toothpick to remove the excess. To do this apply the toothpick as close as you can to your cuticle. Then run the pick along one side of your nail and along the nail groove, then repeat on your other nails if necessary.
Step Eleven: For the second coat, use a little bit more polish to smooth out the surface.
Before applying a Top Coat, you can have a little touch-up to make it look better. Pick a small amount of Cotton with a wood stick, and roll it in the palm of your hands so wrap the cotton around the end of the stick.
Dip the Cotton end of the stick in a Nail Polish Remover and carefully wipe around the cuticle line to create a neat crisp line.
To clean up the skin press down and hold for second before wiping it away. This will prevent the strong color polish from spreading to other areas.
Step Twelve: Apply a generous amount of top coat to complete.
Additional Step – Thirteen: If you like Nail Art, and want to be able to apply it on both hands, creating a DIY decal is the best way.
First, apply a Top Coat onto a sandwich bag and allow it to dry. Paint the design you like on top using a fine nail brush.
When it’s dry you can peel it off. Apply you top coat and place it steadily on.
Step Fourteen: Once you have finished polishing all of your nails on your left hand, be sure to let them dry and give them adequate time to.
If you don’t leave enough time, you run the risk of messing your nail polish and all of your hard work with your non-dominant hand! Trust me you don’t want to do this!
Step Fifteen: Replicate the steps above for your other hand – you don’t want just one hand of painted nails! As this will now be your dominant hand, feel free to apply in the style that works best for you.
Step Sixteen: If you have accidentally got nail polish on your skin, you can always use a chemical-free natural nail polish remover (like this) to gently and safely remove it. To do this, follow the step 11 and apply a small amount of Cotton to a wooden stick. Then, apply a small amount of remover and lightly rub the polish on your skin in a down-ward direction.
Step Seventeen: You are done. Stand back and take a moment to admire your new nails. Congratulations, you have now used your non-dominant hand to paint.
I hope you liked this tutorial and found it helpful.
If you are right handed, then it is inevitable that painting with your left hand is going to be difficult. Hopefully with the techniques, tips and tricks that I have presented to you above, you can start painting your nails more easily, and start to create a lot more beautiful nail designs at home.
Hey – I’m Jemma – a certified nail technician and manicurist with over fifteen years of hands-on industry experience. I created AlmondNails.com to share all that I have learned about the nail industry – from the different types of manicures available, suggestions for wear, recommendations for keeping nails strong and healthy, all the way through to providing the best nail salon tips and practices.