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How to use Magnetic Nail Polish

How to use Magnetic Nail Polish

Sep 2,2020
Magnetic nail polish is a new trend in nail design that uses iron filings in the polish that respond to a magnet to form different shapes and effects on the surface of the nail. Learn how to properly apply this type of polish to achieve the best results. 

Clean and dry your fingernails

Wash your hands and nails with water and soap, then dry them thoroughly on a towel to begin with a clean and dry surface.

Make sure to completely remove any nail polish you already have on using nail polish remover and a cotton pad, cotton ball, or other preferred method.

Magnetic nail polish can be applied to the toenails as well. Prep toenails in the same way as fingernails.                        


Choose a magnetic nail polish color and design.

Shop for a magnetic nail polish that you would like to try. Note both the color and the design of the magnet included.

Pay attention to the use of magnets, You will see strips of metal that create designs such as parallel lines, chevrons, or curves. See if the bottle shows an image of the final product, or find one online, to help you decide which you’d like to try.   


Apply a base coat if you wish

Brush on a layer of a base coat nail polish if you have one and want to help strengthen your nails and the final polish.

Applying a base coat is not necessary and should not affect the outcome of the magnetic polish, but it may help to strengthen your nails, protect them from staining, and make the main polish last longer. 

Base coat polish typically comes in clear or light shades that are designed to not affect the color of the main polish when applied.

Make your magnetic nail polish really pop by adding a layer of white nail polish. After applying a base coat, paint your nails pink. Then, apply another clear coat before adding the magnetic nail polish.  

Brush on a normal first coat

Use the magnetic nail polish to apply the first coat to each of your nails. 

Don’t use the magnet at this time. The first coat simply helps even out the color so that you can perform the magnetization on the second coat.

Have a friend apply nail polish on your dominant hand or on both hands if you aren’t used to doing so.

Let the first coat dry before applying further polish.    

Apply a thick second coat on one nail to begin

Use a larger amount of nail polish than you might normally to coat the surface of a nail before you use the magnet on it. 

Apply more polish than you might on a typical coat, but don’t allow the polish to pool or drip on or off your nail.

It’s important to apply a thick coat that remains wet when you use the magnet, as it will create a more dramatic effect on the pattern of the polish.                              

Hold the magnet over the nail

Hold the magnet provided in the cap of your polish over the nail that you just painted for 10-15 seconds, without touching it to the surface of the nail. 

Use the magnet immediately on the nail before painting the others. Simply hover over the nail and do not touch the magnet to the surface of the nail at all.

Keep both the finger of your painted nail and the hand holding the magnet as still as possible for this process.

Some magnetic nail polish will come with a small ridge that helps you balance the magnetic cap against your cuticle or finger; otherwise, you will simply have to have a steady hand to hold it as still and as close as you can to the nail without making contact.

You will see that the magnet creates a pattern in the polish color, due to the iron shavings in the polish moving in the presence of a magnetic field.   

Continue the process on every nail

Keep applying a thick coat of polish then holding the magnet over it for 10-15 seconds, one nail at a time, on all ten nails.

Try to keep the magnet level and applied in the same way to each nail for a uniform look, unless of course you want to have some variation between the nails.

Feel free to experiment on how much polish you use, how long you hold the magnet over your nails, and how closely you hold the magnet. See if these factors create different final effects on the pattern.

Try turning the magnet at different angles to create a different shape or pattern on the nail. A magnet with a pattern of horizontal lines, for example, can easily be turned at an angle to create diagonal lines on the nail if you wish.                      

Apply a top coat if desired

Use a clear topcoat polish only after the magnetic polish has dried completely.

While not necessary, a topcoat can help the polish last longer by preventing chipping, nicks, or smearing.

Note that some topcoats (like China Glaze Fast Forward) may actually disturb the design of the magnetic polish, so buy and use topcoats with caution.