It does take diligence and care, though, so I’m here to help with 10 ten easy tricks to keep your manicure looking great longer.
1. Keep nails short
Long nails are more prone to chipping and breaking than short, professional-length ones. Aim for nails no more than a quarter inch past your fingertips.
2. Groom cuticles
When polish is applied to overgrown cuticles, it peels off easily. Keep cuticles in check by applying a drop of oil to them and gently pushing them back with a wooden tool. NB: Don’t cut cuticles; it can cause them to grow back even thicker.
3. Clean nails
Apply polish to nails that have been cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover. Any oil or lotion left on the nail bed will prevent polish from bonding to the nail and cause peeling in a day or two.
4. Apply polish in thin coats
Wipe one side of the nailbrush against the neck of the bottle to ensure excess polish is removed. Then sweep the brush up the length of the nail in thin coats. Thick coats of polish bubble and peel.
5. Apply a base coat
Even if you’re in a rush! A specially formulated base coat gives coloured polish something to stick to so it lasts longer.
6. Allow polish to dry between coats
Manicure experts say that giving polish some time to dry before applying a second coat allows the first coat to form a better bond to the nail. The second coat will then bond to the first.
7. Wrap polish onto nails
When applying polish, sweep a bit across the edge and under the nail tip. This “wraps” the end, minimising chipping.
8. Toss old polish
Old nail polish changes consistency and becomes thick and gloppy. That means it won’t have the staying power of newer polish. If you can’t bear to toss your favourite old bottle, add a bit of polish thinner (not remover) to make it smoother. Also it is totally unnecessary to put nail polish in the refrigerator. The condensation actually hardens the nail polish.
9. Protect hands from water
Immersing your hands in water for too long can cause polish to lift off the nail, shortening the life of your nail polish. Use rubber gloves when you’re washing dishes, and keep showers to a quick 10-15 minutes.
10. Apply topcoat daily
It’s the number-one way to ensure your manicure lasts. Sweep on a protective topcoat daily to increase your nail polish’s staying power.