Some people out there have gotten so good at nail art that the whole thing has become seriously intimidating. But worry not, here we give you some tips to help you become one of them. First of all, line your nails with petroleum jelly or white craft glue before painting them for an easy cleanup. If you’re working on a nail look that’s messy, use a cotton swab to rub petroleum jelly  on the skin around your nails first. This creates a barrier between the polish and your skin so that after you’ve painted your nails, you can wipe off the petroleum jelly and any polish mistakes along with it.

Another way to prevent paint from drying on the skin around your nails is to paint around your nail with glue first, and let it dry. Then, paint your nails with polish and peel off the glue when you’re finished to clean up. To prevent the tips of your painted nails from chipping, paint two base-coat layers: one on the top half of your nail and the second coat over the entire nail. Paint the first layer of your base-coat polish on the top half portion of your nails only. After your nails have dried, paint a second coat of polish, but this time cover the entire nail as you normally would. This technique will help the polish on the tips of your nails — which are more prone to chipping — last longer. Before we continue, check out these nail art to celebrate 4th of July below to inspire you.

Use a white nail polish as your base-coat to make your nail color pop. Unless your polish is super opaque, the natural tint of your fingers will change the color of your polish. To get the paint’s true color, add a layer of white nail polish first, and then go over it with your colored polish. Paint your nail art designs on a plastic sandwich bag first, peel them off, and seal them on your nails with nail art glue or a clear topcoat for easy application.

Use paper hole reinforcement stickers as a guide for painting a half-moon. Give your nails two-tone designs with tape. Use the tip of a pencil eyeliner if you want to place tiny nail art accessories like rhinestones on your nails. Create a French manicure with ease by looping a rubber band around your fingertip. Mix loose pigments with clear polish to make a custom nail shade. If you want to make a marbled effect, create it by using drops of swirled nail polish and a cup of water. And last, but not least, make your nail polish dry faster by soaking your nails in ice water after painting them or spray nonstick cooking spray on your nails to help the polish dry faster.