Follow Project Vanity on Facebook!

Never miss an update by liking this blog on Facebook. I also post sneak peeks, unshared photos, and other beauty tidbits here. Like Project Vanity on FB now!


Liz Who?


My name is Liz and I blog as a hobby. I like all things bright and beautiful!

Email me at liz [at]

Disclosure: Most of the products I review here are press samples unless stated otherwise. FYI!




Fashion & Beauty - Top Blogs Philippines

« Skincare gems from L'Oreal Paris | Main | FOTD + OOTD: The little white dress »

How to clean up messy nail polish

We can't all be gods, professional nail artists, or innately ambidextrous when it comes to applying nail polish. I for one have been painting my nails for years now and I still make a mess, depending on my lack of practice! Nonetheless, people always wonder how I paint my nails so neatly. It's simple: I just clean up the mess with an eyeliner brush.

From messy...

To OC!

Yes, a brush! I saw the technique being used in Dashing Diva. The nail attendant used a straight, short-bristled brush to remove excess polish quickly and efficiently. The brush is kinda hard to find, so I used a disposable lip brush and then an old eyeliner brush to see what works best. I now go with the latter since it's bigger, angled, and thus cleans up faster in a more precise manner.

You can do this yourself as easily as I can. All you need are a few basic materials! 

  • A cheap angled nail polish brush or a lip brush if you can't find one. You can buy these for less than P50 in Watsons or Landmark Department Store.
  • Nail polish remover. (I use Bobbi. Dirt cheap and efficient stuff!)
  • Lots of thick paper towels to blot the brush onto.

Step 1: Dip the brush onto the nail polish remover. Make sure you blot on tissue so as not to overload the brush. It's enough that the brush is very damp, but not wet.

Step 2: Place the brush directly on the excess polish. Make sure it's adjacent to your nails, to get a precise line. Put a bit of pressure, moving sideways (to dislodge the polish from the nail) and then outwards from the nail (to erase the polish).

Step 3: Once you've cleaned up the area, wipe the brush on the paper towel to take out the nail polish. You have to do this quickly before the whole thing dries. Remember to use thick paper because if the nail polish remover seeps onto your furniture, well, I'm sure you don't want spotty furniture.

Step 4: Repeat on all your fingers until you're satisfied. When you're done, wash your brush with water to keep it from being hard and brittle.

And that's it! Incredibly simple right? There's no need to use cotton buds or buy those pre-made pens when there's an easy, cheap way to clean up your nails. 

If you have your own tips, do share them in the comments. ;)

Reader Comments (11)

Hooray! Secret revealed! I will try this at home. :P Thanks Ms. Liz!

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikha

Wow! Nice Tip! I really had a hard time cleaning up the mess after putting on nail polish. I will definitely use this technique to clean up the mess. Thanks!

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElaine Chua

Thanks for this post Ms Liz! eto lagi problem ko when cleaning and applying nail polish! Thanks again for the tip! ♥

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCristal

Wow Liz!! Thank you very much for sharing this!! It's one of those things that make go , 'why didn't i think of that?".

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertina

Ang galing! Clap clap :D

I'm a fan of multi-use products :) Pwede pala ang angled liner for finishing up nail polish application.

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRae

Amazing! that's the word that pop right outta my head when i saw your "OC" nails hehehe
i'm such a klutz when painting nails because i'm left handed. But this! This is the SOLUTION!

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertinabocs

Massage a bit of petroleum jelly around your fingers and toes while avoiding the nails, then put on your nail polish of choice. The excess and messy nail polish will be easier to remove. :)

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbigail Flores

This is pure genius! Thank you for this tip! I so need this because I'm really clumsy in putting polish.

April 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNikka

Great tip! Will definitely try this! Thanks for sharing. :)

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShev

Hi Liz, just like to ask what brand and color of the nail polish did you use here?

May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrish

Like the other girls said its a WOW!
this is a very helpful tip Ms.Liz.. Thank you for sharing this to us.

October 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMariannafernandez

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>