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Have you ever walked out of the nail salon with a fresh manicure only to have chipped nails by the end of the day? If so, we feel your pain. Like it or not, everyone who has ever painted their nails has experienced a short-lived manicure, trust us. If you already make it a point to be diligent with your nail care to no avail, you’re probably wondering what it takes to get long-lasting nail polish. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help your manicure go the distance. All you need are the right tips and tricks and a few tweaks in your routine. Want in? Follow along for 13 tips to help you learn how to make nail polish last longer.
Before we jump right into our list of tips for long-lasting nail polish, we have to answer the obvious question—how long does nail polish last without chipping? The truth is, traditional nail polish offerings can last a few days without any chipping. However, if you opt for long-wear formulas such as no-chip nail polish or gel offerings, your manicure may last for up to two weeks before you see any chipping.
Beyond the type of polish you use, how long nail polish lasts is also dependent on how well it’s applied, the maintenance routine you follow, and how much you use your hands. If you wash your hands many times a day, for example, your nails may chip faster than a friend’s. Because there are numerous variables, there’s far from one answer to how long nail polish lasts—it will vary from person to person and manicure to manicure.
It’s time for the reason you’re here—learning how to make nail polish last longer. Try the 13 tips below to keep your manicure in mint condition.
When it comes to long-lasting nail polish, you always want to make sure that you go back to the basics. You can extend the life of your manicure just by applying thin coats of nail polish. Simply put, thicker coats take longer to dry and make it super easy for the polish to peel off.
If it seems as though traditional nail polish always leaves you with chipped nails, it may be time to try a new formula. A no-chip nail polish formula will come in handy to keep your nails looking fab. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re painting your nails the right way, as well. Head on over to our article, How to Paint Your Nails for an At-Home Manicure, for some pointers.
Like it or not, one of the fastest ways to kiss your flawless manicure goodbye is to saturate your nails in water and cleaning products. Stay ahead of the game, and wear gloves while doing household chores to protect your manicure.
While long nails have a special place in our hearts, they can get in the way of a well-polished manicure. If a long-lasting manicure is what you’re after, it may be time to trade in your long set for a short option. Short nails are not as prone to chipping or peeling because they’re less likely to get in the way and end up being bumped into things.
It’s easy to think that once you seal the deal with a top coat, your manicure routine is complete. However, if you really want your nails to sport a fresh out of the salon look, you need to step it up on the maintenance front. Make sure to reapply a top coat every two to three days for long-lasting results. This will help keep pesky chipped nails and peeling polish at bay.
Instead of letting chipped nail polish get the best of you, take back control of your manicure. If you find that your nails have chipped right at the edge, gently file your tips down and apply a layer of top coat to freshen up your mani.
Even if you’re a manicure expert, you can get nail polish on your cuticles or skin by mistake. Unfortunately, this can lead to peeling or chipping once the nail polish breaks off. Luckily, you can clean things up pretty quickly. Simply saturate a cotton swab with nail polish remover and carefully go over the perimeter of your nails to remove any polish that shouldn’t be there.
We totally get the excitement of wanting to show off your new manicure. But if you don’t take the appropriate time to dry your nails, your manicure can pay the price. The truth is, it can actually take one to two hours for your nails to dry completely. If your 15-minute drying session just isn’t cutting it, you’ll need to give yourself more time in the salon chair.
Editor's note: If you need to dry your nails fast, there are ways to get around the one to two-hour rule. Head on over to our article, How to Dry Nails Fast (And How Long Is Fast) for some tips.
If you’ve been skipping out on applying cuticle oil and cream to your nails, it’s time to get consistent. When your nails are thirsty for moisture, you run the risk of experiencing more wear and tear. Show your nails some TLC by adding a drop of cuticle oil to the base of your nails post-manicure. Follow up with an all-over balm, like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm – Face, Neck, Chest and Hands to boost moisture. Add this step to your everyday skin care routine as well to keep your hands and nails in mint condition.
While it’s essential to start painting your nails with a stripe of polish down the center of the nail, then curve the brush and go over the sides for an even coat, you may be leaving one step out. You need to polish around the free edge of your nail to help seal in your manicure. This means painting the very tip of each nail, so that they're completely wrapped in polish. This simple tip will help your nails last.
It has become standard practice to shake a bottle of nail polish in order to get an even color, but it may not be the best method for your nails. In fact, this technique can create air bubbles, which may cause your manicure to chip in no time. Instead of shaking the bottle, simply roll it between your hands to get the same effect sans the bubbles.
As the saying goes, old habits die hard. But when it comes to your manicure, nail biting can leave you with chipped or peeling nail polish. Not cool! While this habit can be hard to shake, doing so can help your manicure last. If you’re ready to call it quits, head over to our article on How to Stop Biting Your Nails.
Instead of using hot air, like your blow-dryer on its highest setting, to dry your nails, opt for a cool approach. Think about it: Your manicurist likely has a miniature fan at her station, not a blow-dryer. Hot air can actually prevent your nails from drying properly, so use the cool air setting or sit your nails under a fan to get the job done.
Next: 16 Ways to Show Your Hands and Nails Some Major TLC
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