I’ve seen an infographic floating around on Pinterest on the “correct” way to paint nails, which, while very helpful, isn’t quite what I’d recommend, personally speaking. It was originally posted on Lacquerized, and while I agree with the technique, I think it’s missing a step AND I prefer a different order (I’ll explain why after the graphic).
So first of all, I think it’s VERY important to wrap the tips (especially if you’re using a topcoat like Seche Vite that causes a little shrinkage) to make manicures last. This also looks a lot more finished (or polished, if you will. hue hue hue) than not wrapping.
Additionally, I prefer to do the center stroke last to assure that my polish is smoothed out and any bumps or unevenness are not going to be right up the middle of the nail. This is especially helpful when applying frosts, metallics, and shimmers that show. every. stroke. Finishing with a straight stroke will give a smooth, clean look, instead of having curvy “stripes.”
But that’s my preference! What’s the method to your madness?