Painting candy-colored nails should be easy, right? But what makes it look like child's play - the chalkiness - is also why it's tricky. To prevent your nails from looking like cracked Easter eggs, follow these key steps from InStyle's July issue: 

1. Prime the Canvas

Opaque polish highlights every bump and groove in your nail bed, so it's a good idea tobuff before applying any color. This will also help the polish go on more smoothly.

2. Add A Matte Cushion

First apply a base coat, then paint on a very thin layer of polish. Add a layer of matte topcoat, which will keep your mani from streaking. Follow with a second coat of polish.

3. Seal the Deal

FInish off with a quick-dry top-coat. Now settle in for an episode of The Bachelorette - and don't even think about reaching for that bag of Skinny Pop. 

Fresh picks: 

These cool colors look like they might be on the sheerer side. But trust me: I road-tested each one and they're as dense as Cray-Pas.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Wetsuit; Jamberry Nail Lacquer in Hint on Mint; Essie Nail Lacquer in Serial Shopper; Nails Inc. Polish in Regents Place; MAC Cosmetics Studio Nail Lacquer in Erogenous. 

My Summer Fling: 

Shellac is a miracle in many ways. But when it comes to wearing a shade like mint, I'm more interested in a fleeting affair than a long-term commitment. Which is why I love CND Vinylux: this long wear (non-gel) formula lasts a week but comes off with regular remover. No strings - or acrylic polymers - attached. 

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