We all know the feeling – you spend precious time out of your busy day painting your nails, admire the scarlet red color, flash them around as much as possible for them to chip, 45 minutes later. Or perhaps you’ve paid money to have them done in the salon to pamper and treat yourself for them again to chip before you even get to show them off.
You can be a nail care queen and still experience a pretty short-lived perfect manicure – we’ve all been there, and we all know how annoying it can be. So, how can we make our nail polish last longer and maximize our nail wow factor time?
Before getting to discussing our top-secret tips to get your manicure lasting – how long realistically should nail polish last? It is all well and good, wanting the most out of the polish, but it is good to have some basic understanding of how long it should be lasting. Traditional nail polish has roughly a two-day average before chips should begin to show. However, you can opt for a longer-lasting formula that will cost a little more but is still available in drugstores – these polishes you can expect to last on average up to two weeks.
So let’s get down to business and take a look at our top five tips to make your nail polish last longer – so that you can have a beautiful manicure that will have your friends and coworkers feeling envious.
- Prep your nails
Following the correct preparation stages before applying your nail polish is vital to maximize your wear time and minimize the risk of those pesky chips appearing earlier than they should. Follow these simple steps to get perfectly prepared nails for your manicure:
- Push your cuticles back – to maximize the nail bed and create neat edges helping to prevent polish lifting at the edges.
- Gently file your nails – creating the desired shape but be careful not to file them too much as this can damage your nail and cause breakages, increasing the chip risk.
- Cleanse your nails – removing dirt and oils from the nail to help the polish fully take.
- Apply a base coat – if you want chip-proof polish, do not skip this step. Base coats are great at prolonging your nail polishes life and preventing those chips.
- Opt for a gel manicure
An obvious way to increase the life of your nail polish is to opt for gel polish alternatives. You can get these manicures at a salon or opt for a store-bought gel-based polish. Either way, you can expect your gel polish to last up to two weeks before any chips should start appearing.
There are many gel polishes on the market, and the gel polish process usually requires a UV lamp to cure the nail polish. The steps are as follows:
- Prep, file, and buff the nails.
- Apply gel base coat and cure under UV lamp.
- Apply one coat of desired gel color and cure under the UV lamp.
- Apply the second coat of gel color and cure under the UV lamp.
- Apply gel top coat and cure.
- The finishing touches.
If popping to the salon for your manicure isn’t an option for you – why not try an at-home gel polish kit.
- Apply polish in thin coats
It may be tempting when applying nail polish to smother it in thick coats – the more polish coats, the longer it will last – right? Make your manicure last longer by going back to basics and applying the polish in thin coats. Do two or three coats allowing enough type in between each for the one before to dry.
If you apply multiple coats before allowing the first to dry, the polish will take too long to dry – increasing the risk of chips. Once you have applied all of your desired coats, make sure you allow ENOUGH time for your nails to dry. This step is often where so many people go wrong when manicuring their nails.
Nail polish takes time to dry – probably more time than you would think for the perfect finish and chips to stay away. To fully dry a perfect manicure takes six hours. Of course, we aren’t saying you can’t use your hand for six hours. But, how you chose to use them in this time frame is vital to the life of your polish.
Avoid submerging your nails in water – especially washing up. Try painting your nails an hour or so before bed so that they are touch dry and don’t get on the sheets, but so that when the drying process finishes, your hands can rest.
- Use a top coat
Using a topcoat can be the secret weapon to making your nail polish last. A good quality topcoat can provide the ultimate lock-in formula for your nails, making the polish last as long as possible but protecting them from unwanted chips. Another tip is to reapply your nail topcoat every two to three days to protect your nails from chips forming.
- Take care of your cuticles.
If you are skipping applying cuticle oil and cream during your manicure, this could be a reason why you find yourself with chipped polish in a matter of hours. If your nails are calling out for moisture, they can become brittle and more susceptible to damage, and therefore breakage and chipping.
Be consistent in your application of cuticle oil post manicure and hand cream use after washing your hands. Frequent hand washing, although good, can cause your hands to become very dry – so a good hand cream will be your new best friend in protecting that new manicure of yours.
So there we have our five top ways to help maximize your manicure time and minimize chipping. Take care of your nails, and there is no reason your nail polish can’t last, and keep your hands looking wonderful for as long as possible.