Manicured nails give a polished, professional look, but no matter how lovely the manicure, it can be a challenge to make it last more than a few days. Whether you’re doing a manicure at home yourself or getting a professional manicure, taking certain steps can ensure a longer lasting look. Here are nine tips to make your manicure last longer:
Paint the Nail Edges
If you paint the tips of your nails (the tiny part at the end, in between the top of the nail and the bottom), the polish will be less likely to chip because it will be unable to snag on things like keyboards and papers. Be sure to apply a top coat to nail edges too!
Use a Base Coat
Base coats give your manicure something to cling to, so be sure that you use a base coat. If you use a manicurist, ask about using a high quality base coat that will make polish last longer.
Keep Nails Dry and Clean
Before applying polish, make sure there is no residue at all on your nails. Cuticle oil, lotion, and even soap from washing your hands can interfere with the ability of the polish to cling to your nails, so make sure you thoroughly dry your nails before applying a base coat or polish.
Touch Up With Top Coat
Touching up your nails every other day with a top coat can help to prolong the life of your manicure and protect against chipping.
Keep Nail Edges Smooth
If you shape and file your nails before applying polish, make sure to buff the tips of your nails as well. Even if the edges don’t look ragged, tiny ragged edges can contribute to chipping and also make your actual nails more likely to break. Buff your nails with a fine, smooth buffer, focusing on the nail edges.
Push Back Cuticles
Cutting your cuticles may leave them looking good a day or two after your manicure, but they’ll get ragged after that. This can cause polish to chip or peel off around the nail beds and even lead to nail bed infections. Use a cuticle oil and gently push your cuticles back instead.
Keep Hands Moisturized
Invest in a good hand cream, and keep your hands moisturized. Dry nails tend to peel and chip more, and if your hands are dry the polished look of freshly manicured nails will quickly yield to ragged cuticles and chapped hands.
Protect Hands From Water
Soap and water are the arch nemeses of a good manicure. If you’re doing dishes, use gloves, and if your hands get wet from washing, dry them promptly rather than allowing them to air dry.
Apply Several Thin Coats
Applying polish in thin coats helps to prevent air bubbles that can cause smearing and chipping. Wait for each coat to dry before applying the next coat, and each coat will act as a glue to keep your polish on.