The Trick To Taking Off Dark Nail Polish Without Smudging It All Over

Are you a victim of the dreaded smeary fingers?

It's a rare problem. It's the kind that comes from wearing navy or slate nail polish and then trying to remove it.

Three weeks ago, I wore bright blue, and I'm still finding traces of it around my nail beds.

With as many times a day as models and celebrities change their manicures, you have to wonder how their nail artists avoid getting slop everywhere. I've never seen Rita Ora on the streets with tie-dyed fingertips, so she must know something I don't.

Backstage at New York Fashion Week's glittery Marchesa show, I finally got my answer.

Zoya nail artist Naomi Gonzalez-Longstaff took a moment away from the chaos of manicuring models to explain her best tricks for the perfect manicure.

It's safe to say she schooled me in the art of nail-centric beauty.

Gonzalez-Longstaff explained you have to get a neutral coat of polish on first to protect your actual nail from staining. She used Zoya's Naked Manicure Perfector, a correcting buff polish, as her base.

After letting it dry, she went in with Zoya's Claudine, a black metallic polish with flecks of gold that starkly contrasted the glittery dresses.

But that's not all, folks. Nope, Gonzalez-Longstaff continued to blow my mind with a nail polish removal trick so simple that I couldn't believe I'd never thought of it.

Before getting anywhere near your nail beds with nail polish remover, grab some cuticle oil (any oil, actually) and apply it in a U-shape on the skin around the nail.

Just like oil removes even the toughest all-day lipstick and mascara, it also prevents dark nail polish from staining your skin as it comes off.

It's genius and cost-effective, which is my favorite kind of beauty tip.