You just had your nails done yesterday, but you’ve already got a chip! It’s not the end of the world, but it can be quite annoying—especially if you had them done for a party or a date. But even if it’s just an ordinary day, you still want your nails to look their best as long as they can. (Because if the manicure gets ruined, you’ll have to do it all over again!). Here are some tips on how to make your manicure last longer.
Manage your cuticles
Before any manicure, soften any ragged edged with a softening cream. This can prevent any cuticles from interfering with the base coat. And, once your done and the polish is dry, resist the urge to push back any cuticles. This can lead to cracking polish at the base, which will make it more likely to chip. Just keep cuticles soft with cream.
Skip the soaking
Most salons will have you soak your fingertips in a scented solution. It’s part of the pampering treatment. But that doesn’t actually do anything for the nails, and if you’re at home, you can skip the treatment. This prevents nails from puffing up from the water and then shrinking when they’re dry—which leads to peeling and chipping.
If you really want to prep your nails, the best step is to scrub them with an old toothbrush and hand soap, which will remove any dust or leftover enamel. Any debris can get in the way of a new layer of polish. Just avoid any soaps that contain lanolin. After scrubbing, dry hands and apply acetone polish remover which will dry up the nails.
Keep the nails short
Shape does matter. The best one is rounded at the tip with the corners left square. They’re less prone to breaking. (Read tips on how to have healthier and stronger nails.) Ideally, file down your nails instead of clipping them short, and file only in one direction using a metal file with a fine grit. Avoid abrasive emery boards which can break down the nail’s keratin layers.
Add a base coat
The base coat act as a priming surface so nail polish can adhere better. You can also get base coats that fill in ridges and uneven surfaces, for a smoother and prettier finish.
Choose a slow-drying top coat
The fast drying top coats can make polish softer and more likely to dent. And while the slow drying coats require more time, the patience pays off: the surface is harder and stronger, and less prone to chipping. If you’re in a rush, apply a drying oil right over the top coat.