10 Tips for a Perfect Wedding-Day Manicure

Top experts lend a hand and offer their best wedding-day nail advice.

-AS SEEN IN BRIDAL GUIDE MAGAZINE-

glitter manicure

1. Find Your Shape

Oval, square or somewhere in between is always the question at the salon: Zoya nail expert Naomi Gonzalez says to file nails the way your cuticle line is shaped as a rule of thumb. For example, if your nail bed is more round, try an oval tip; for squarer cuticles, go for a rectangular nail.

2. Cuticle Care

Though commonly unwanted, "cuticles exist to protect the area between the skin and nails," explains Jin Soon Choi of JINsoon, "and fully removing them risks infection." Fahmida Mumith, manicurist at Haven Spa NYC, adds that the more cuticles are cut, the faster they will grow back. Rather than cut, gently push the nail bed back as needed using a cuticle pusher, and apply oil to maintain hydration.

3. Repair a Break

It’s best to go to a salon should this happen prior to the big day, but not to panic if it happens on the day of: Choi says to file and smooth nail edges with a high-grit emery board, super-glue a fake nail on the tip, let dry for two minutes and apply matching color for a temporary fix.

4. Fix a Chip

If your nail color becomes damaged, celebrity manicurist Geraldine Holford suggests dipping a Q-tip in acetone-free polish remover and gently smoothing out the scratch. Then paint two thin coats of color over just the chip to avoid an uneven nail texture. Allow the nail to dry and add a top coat. Feel free to add another thin layer of polish to the remaining nails for consistency.

5. Don't Forget the Hands

Founder and creative director of her eponymous nail brand, Deborah Lippmann says just as you would cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize your face every night, the same should be done for hands to look and feel their absolute best.

6. Make it Last

To ensure your manicure goes the distance, celebrity manicurist and creative director of Wild Oleander, Fleury Rose, relies on a quality base and top coat that's brushed along each nail edge to seal in color. Valley manicurist Elaine Lee echoes this by suggesting a "UVA/UVB top coat that prevents yellowing and discoloration for lighter polishes."

7. Avoid Biting

Chewing nails might be a way to manage the wedding-planning stress, but don’t let it ruin your hands. Gonzalez suggests getting a gel or acrylic manicure in a bright color, like red, as a reminder to stop biting and to allow nails to grow healthy and strong.

8. Shade Selection

Celebrity manicurist and OPI ambassador Tom Bachik says, "Sheer ivory, full-coverage white and neutral metallics have really been trending." If a classic nude is more your style, Bachik suggests matching your skin tone or going one shade lighter for a clean appearance. You may also consider coordinating with your wedding theme or bouquet flowers.

9. Come Prepared

Having a beauty emergency kit is key to avoiding any day-of mishaps. Gelish and Morgan Taylor brand expert Danielle Candido suggests packing a cosmetic bag with "a nail file, instant glue, cuticle oil, nail polish remover, cotton pads, nail color and a backup set of press-on nails pre-filed to the right shape and color."

10. Maintenance Matters

From the moment you're engaged to the anticipated honeymoon, all eyes will be checking out your sparkly new rock, thus underscoring the importance of starting nail care early. Lippmann recommends weekly manicures at least three to six months prior to the big day to ensure nails always look wedding ready. She also advises brides to keep an emery board on hand for DIY touch- ups between appointments.

For more bridal beauty tips, visit 20 Stunning Updos from Real Brides.