Q: How do you shape your nails?
A: I only use nail files and buffers - someone told me that using a nail clipper actually weakens your nails so I stay way from them. I prefer high grit nail files (the higher the "grit", the finer and softer the file is!) but they take longer to get your desired length. I like to keep my nails shaped square (so they are flat on top) because I think manicures look better that way.

Q: Where do you buy your polishes?
A: Anywhere I can get them! I go to local beauty supply stores to get mainstream brand polishes because they are generally cheaper. Sometimes I buy online though! You can find good deals in the "coupons" section of my sidebar :)

Q: What is your favorite brand of nail polish?
A: I tend to steer towards OPI, Essie, and China Glaze. Mostly because they are affordable and easy to find. But I find that you really do get what you pay for - the more expensive a mainstream bottle is, the better the quality.
Independently made polishes (aka "indies") are a different story. They are generally gorgeous and unlike anything you find in stores, and you can usually only get them online, but they're a tad expensive. I don't own many but I love the ones I have!

Q: Why do you have that writing around your nail in your photos? What app do you use to create that?
That is my watermark! It says "thenailpolishchallenge" so that people know it's my photo and my nails - you'd be surprised how many people steal my photos and pretend that the nails belong to them! I think the most frequent question I get, especially in Instagram, is what app I use to create it. I actually create my watermark on my computer, using Adobe Photoshop. It costs about $20/month.

Q: What's your nail care routine?
The best nail and hand care I can give you is to always moisturize (it doesn't matter what brand you use, as long as you do it often!) and use base coat before you paint your nails! My favorite base coat is Duri Rejuvacote, and you can find that in most stores. It'll make your nails healthy and strong.

Q: Are those nail stickers?
A: NO! People ask me this question a lot, which is a huge compliment, but trust me, I work super hard on my nails and it is all done by me! Unless stated in the post that I am using nail stickers, they are painted by yours truly!

Q: When did you start painting your nails?
A: In the summer of 2011 I started seeing a lot of nail art online and I was so impressed! As an artist, I am always looking for a new canvas to express my creativity. My collection started to grow and it hasn't stopped since!

Q: How often do you paint your nails?
Honestly, it differs by week, depending on how busy I am. Some days I'll paint my nails twice or three times, and sometimes I go almost a week without painting them.

Q: Can you send me some polish for free?
No! Sorry, but most of the polishes you see on this blog were paid for by my own dollar. I don't often get polishes for free, and I can't really afford to give any away. I do occasionally sell my polishes though.

Q: Why are you so awesome?
A: I think it is a combination of genes and just being awesome.

Q: You didn't answer my question! Can I email you?
Yes! You can send an email to contact@kellimarissa.com.


  1. I love doing nail designs but when I put the top coat on it sometimes makes the design streak. What top coat do you use/recommend?

    1. Currently I use Seche Vite. But it is important to give your design some time to dry before you apply top coat, and you should try to use as few strokes as possible to keep the design from smudging! I am still trying to find the perfect top coat though :)

  2. Why did you name your blog Nail Polish Challenge?

    1. It was just a simple name I thought up a few years ago! I originally made this blog for doing online nail art challenges, but it evolved into something much bigger ;)

  3. Hi Kelli, I just started painting my nails but what I like to know is how can I paint it as tidy and perfect as yours? Please share some tips on that if you will? I am desperate T_T

  4. What type of nail polish remover do you use? Do you find that some are better (and, hopefully, healthier) for your nails than others?

  5. HAHAA Why are you so awesome? My fave question/answer xoxo

  6. What white do you usually use? I've noticed that on your posts on Instagram your white is always so clear and bright! I've been looking for a nice white but I haven't been able to find one I like too well. Thanks!!


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