Many proponents of this mani trick tout petroleum jelly (a popular traditional occlusive), but you can use any clean jelly you like, as long as it's oily enough to hold off the pigment – Pipettes Baby Balm mimics the feel of petroleum jelly almost perfectly .
Once you have the product of your choice, simply apply the substance around the nail bed with a cotton swab. "After you apply the polish, wipe it off with a cotton swab to remove any residue," says Amy Lin, founder of Sonntag – a nail care brand that focuses on wellness.
Maybe this goes without saying, but you'll want to wait for your nails to dry completely before wiping away the balm. Try to measure drying time in seven to 10 minutes (10 to 15 minutes if you have nail art), or you can cut the polish with the cotton swab.