To be honest, I’m accident-prone that’s why my non-gel manicure could easily chip within a couple of days. Depending on how you treat your nails, our daily activities have the potential to damage the nails, and the regular manicure could hardly last a week.
The fact is, nail polish is not meant to last for weeks, and that’s probably for the best. But you can save time and money by learning how to maximize the lifespan of your manicure using these tricks.
For example, is your gel mani growing out? Try a reverse glitter ombré look and these other tricks to keep your nails looking fab.
① Use Cotton Swab
Use a cotton swab to wipe down your nails with white vinegar before applying basecoat.
This removes any product build-up or natural oils on your nail beds that could create a barrier between the polish. Once your nails dry, apply a base coat.
② No Soaking Nails Allowed
Don’t soak nails before painting them. Manicurists do this to soften cuticles, but it causes nails to retain water and expand. Once they’re painted they’ll shrink, meaning your polish will no longer fit your nails. So ask your manicurist to use cuticle oil instead.
③ Filing your Nails
File your nails into a shape that mirrors your cuticle’s, which makes them less likely to break.
④ Avoid Getting Nail Polish on your Cuticles
Avoid getting any polish on your cuticles, which lifts the paint from the nail and leads to chipping. Don’t cut your cuticles, but you can push them back using cuticle oil and an orange stick or a pusher tool to prevent paint from getting on them.
⑤ Sticky Basecoat
Use a sticky basecoat to make the polish last longer.
⑥ . Two Coats is better than One
Apply two coats of basecoat to the tips of your nails.
Nail tips are more prone to chipping (see: typing, texting, etc.). Apply another layer of basecoat to the top half of your nails for extra polish resilience.
⑦ Don’t Shake , Just Roll It
Instead of shaking your polish up and down, roll it between your hands to eradicate and prevent air bubbles.
If you paint air bubbles onto your nails, they’ll chip faster.
⑧ . Don’t skip the “free edge” of your nails
Run the basecoat, paint, and topcoat around the edge to ensure your entire nail is sealed.
⑨ Dry nails with cool air.
Hot air keep the polish from drying so use your blow dryer on its cool setting or a fan. Dipping fingertips in ice water for a minute or two also aids drying.
⑩ Re-apply Top Coat
Reapply a layer of clear topcoat every two to three days to prevent chipping and enhance shine.
⑪ Mild Soap
Wash your hands with mild soap instead of using hand sanitizer, which dries out your nails and ruins topcoat.
⑫ Nail Oil
Apply nail oil daily to prevent your nails from drying out and splitting. The less moisture your nails and cuticles have, the more likely they are to break and tear.
⑬ Nails Chipping
If your nail polish has started chipping, file your tips down and seal them with another layer of topcoat.
⑭ Grown out Gel Manicure
Hide a gel manicure that has grown out by covering the base of your nails with glitter, creating an ombrè effect.
The best way to distract from a chipped or overgrown manicure is, well, glitter. It’s pretty and will last for what feels like *~FoReVeR~*.
⑮ Chipped Tips
If the tips of your nails have chipped, add super-thin French tip.
Now you’re chipping no more and have a cool updated look.
⑯ Wear Gloves
Wear gloves when doing the dishes to protect your manicure. The fastest way to ruin a manicure is to submerge your nails in hot water and harsh cleaning chemicals. So if you needed an excuse not to do the dishes, there you go.
⑰ Smudge or Chip Nails
If you chip or smudge a nail, smooth the polish ridge with a cotton swap dipped in polish remover.
Otherwise, if you just paint over it without smoothing it out, you’ll get a bumpy nail.
Image Credit: Kathleen Kamphausen