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Mistake No. 5: Using Q-tips to clean up your mistakes.

It's all too easy for the cotton fuzzies on a Q-tip to get caught in your polish and disrupt your mani. "Q-tips are just a nightmare," says Miss Pop. Instead, she advises using an old makeup brush for more precise touch-ups. "If you get a little paint on the skin around your nail, it's no great tragedy," she says. "Just dip a flat makeup brush into nail polish remover and clean the smudge up immediately while the paint is still wet so it's easier to remove. I also like filbert-head brushes that you can get at an art supply store. Otherwise, you can always just push the polish right off when you're in the shower."

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