Lesson one: LEAVE IT ALONE.
Polishing your nails and nail art in general are super addicting. So addicting that many a manicure gets ruined simply because it's so tempting to keep screwing with it.
Whether it be a slightly crooked side line in your polish, a tiny imperfection in the finish or some wicked good nail art. It's a practice in extreme self discipline to simply leave it alone.
Why do we need to learn to leave it alone? Because 99.9% of the time a slightly imperfect application will be 100% better than a tinkered with final result. In other words, trying to fix it will almost always totally mess it up.
For example. You paint your nails. BUT there is a small bit of polish near your cuticle that is crooked. NOW is the time to practice lesson 1. Leave it alone. Because if you don't and you grab your polish to do another coat to fix it, BAM! Now you have polish all over your skin, you get a huge dent or it never freaking dries because you made it an inch thick trying to cover a teensy weensy blemish.
Nail art is the hardest area in which to practice lesson one. It is nearly impossible to stop yourself and leave it alone. Why do you think nail art always looks so freakin gaudy? Because they couldn't just leave it ALONE!
Feast your eyes on this example:
You decide to do a little nail art. Cool. Your feeling like you want a bold yet understated and classy mani so you choose China Glaze- For Audrey as your base color. The perfect, classy,Tiffany blue. 2 coats. Great start!
You grab Orly's Wild Wisteria because it's your current favorite polish and bust out a nearly perfect chevron style french manicure.
Looks awesome! You love it! But...do you leave it alone? You really SHOULD. But alas, you just can't. You've gotten a confidence boost from how well you pulled off the chevron and are positive you can further awesomize it.
Now you've added a hot pink tip in Sinful Colors- Cha Cha Red, AND striped it in with a black nail striper. You are feeling an 80's vibe over riding this overwhelmingly NOT classy and NOT understated mani so you decide to run with it.
Welp, you've accomplished 80's alright. Not exactly a happy memories, cool accessories, great music 80's though. More like a haven't showered, shopped at goodwill, and then picked a glitter headband out of a garbage can type of 80's.
So, by adding a pink stripe AND an additional silver stripe you've now done nothing but ruin your previously perfect black stripe from the previous step...gotta fix it right?
Well, there IS a positive here. You've effectively fixed the black stripe you ruined. YAY! But, what's with the dots? Why did you have to add those 90's nail salon window poster dots? Oh, I remember. Because you just can't leave it alone. Well there is only one solution to any polish dilemma right?
Ack! Now look what you've done! This mani is like totally the perfect bold yet understated CLASSY look you were going for huh?
An unfruitful, frantic search for your high school leg warmers and half a gallon of acetone later. This is the look you end up sporting because you've spent an hour doing nail art and you are too annoyed, frustrated and late to do that pretty, simple chevron again.
Lesson learned. Leave it Alone.