Painting your nails is by no means a clean task, but perfecting your nail polish technique cuts down on time you spend cleaning-up. Here are some tips to get the look you want the first time with no fuss.
Image from Michele.
This technique is focused on keeping the polish from oozing onto your cuticles and skin. This might sound silly, but before you start, use the bathroom so there's no chance you mess up your nails while they're drying, and loosen the caps on your polish bottles so you don't struggle with them while you have wet nails.
As you can see in the diagram above, start with just a small drop of polish, push it towards the top of your nail and leave a small gap so the polish doesn't get onto your skin. Then brush from the base down the middle of your nail, then from the base to the right side, then from the base to the left side. You'll end up with full coverage of your nails with minimal polish spill-over, and no need to fumble for polish remover or cloth to clean up any excess polish.
How I Paint My Nails [Lacquerized]