Hands go through a lot during the day, from putting on makeup and being washed multiple times to typing on keyboards and doing dishes, so poor manicures don’t stand a chance. Luckily, there are little-known tricks you can try to make your nail polish last longer, besides just applying a top coat every two days. Savoir Flair turned to Negin Fattahi-Dasmal, Founder and CEO of N.Bar, to discover her top tips for making your mani stand the test of time (or at least last a little longer).
Opt for Shorter Nails
When your nails are long, the tips are more exposed and you tend to use them for all they’re worth, like peeling off stickers and putting keys on key rings, which puts them in harm’s way. Short nails are shorter than your fingers, meaning that your finger, not the polish, will take the brunt of any activity that could create chips.
Remove Excess Oil
Rub nail-polish remover on your nails even if they don’t have polish on them. Any excess oil will prevent the polish from sticking and can result in quick chipping.
Invest in a Top Coat
If you only do one thing to make your manicure last, it has to be using a good top coat. Apply a thin layer on your nails every two or three days.
Seal the Edge
If you’re applying a top coat without sealing the edge of your nail, that’s where you’re going wrong. The edge of the nail takes the brunt of the polish beating, so make sure you’re protecting it with a good cover of clear polish.
Washing dishes (or cleaning your apartment) without gloves on can completely destroy your manicure. The water and soap can dry out your mani, making it less shiny and more likely to chip. Before putting on your gloves, apply some Vaseline to your nails to keep them moisturized.
Allow for Enough Dry Time
Smudges and dings during dry time ruin all the hard work you just put into your manicure. A good way to tell if your nails are dry is to make your pinky nails face each other, then gently touch them together. If you pull them apart and they feel slightly tacky, your nails still need time to dry. If they don’t stick to each other at all, you’re good to get moving.
Go for Thinner Strokes
We know it can be tempting to pack on the polish, but too-thick nail polish can tend to peel off, making the life of your manicure incredibly shorter. Go for thinner strokes, getting just enough polish on the brush that you don’t overload your nails.
Paint Two Layers of Base Coat
Paint one on the top half of your nail and another over the entire nail. This will help keep the polish on the tips of your nails from chipping.
File in One Direction
It doesn’t matter which direction, but make sure you’re filing each nail either to the left or to the right, never back and forth. Filing in alternating directions weakens the nail, making it more prone to breakage and peeling from the free edge, so polish will chip.
Stay Away from Hand Sanitizer
The alcohol in hand sanitizer can dry out your nails and polish, making them dull and ready to chip. Instead, opt for a mild hand soap and warm water when possible.
Stop Soaking Your Nails
Soaking your nails in water causes the nail to absorb water, expanding its natural shape. Once your nails are polished, the water evaporates and your nails contract, which causes the polish to chip and crack.
Keep Your Nails Healthy
Ridges? Peeling? Breakage? Fix your nail problems and your manicure will definitely last longer. Find a good ridge filler or nail strengthener depending on what you need to fix, then work it into your beauty routine to keep your nails in tip-top shape all the time.
Avoid Matte Polish
It is a known fact in the beauty industry that matte polish tends to chip faster than creme versions.
Pay Attention to Humidity
Humidity can seriously mess up your nail game. If it’s extra humid outside, make sure you wait twice as long before doing anything that might put dents in your nails. Also, pop your polish in the fridge for about 30 minutes before you paint for a smoother application without bubbling.
Avoid Hot Water for at Least 12 Hours
Even though your nails might feel dry to the touch, your polish can take up to 12 hours to fully harden. Heat can interfere with the “curing” process, which will result in smudging and cracking. Just be sure to wash your hands in cold water instead of hot.
Promo Photo: Courtesy of GIPHY