Whether you’re a frequent flyer at the nail salon or you’re all about that DIY life, a short-lived manicure is a sure-fire way to put a girl in a sour mood. Oh yes, I know all you nail enthusiasts are nodding your head in agreement, so let’s say buh-bye to those pesky chipped manicures, shall we?
Try out some of these clever ways to make your manicure last longer, and I’ve got a strong suspicion you’ll be wondering how you ever survived without these tips. Of course, if your ride or die gel girl right now, this isn't the most relevant list of ideas, but you should know how important it is to give your nails a break once in a while and go with a traditional mani that lets those nails breathe, so read on.
Now let’s dig in.
1. Start off with vinegar
For all my DIY ladies out there, one of the best tips for starting off your manicure on the right foot--ahem, hand--is to apply white vinegar to your nail.
Using a cotton swab, simply apply white vinegar to the nail prior to applying your basecoat. The use of vinegar will help remove any oil or product buildup to ensure you’re putting your basecoat on the cleanest surface possible. Facts are facts: the cleaner the nail prior to paint, the more likely it is that your manicure will last.
2. Topcoat, then repeat
You’ve finished your manicure, and you’re hoping to go for a week without any chipping. A quick application of a clear top coat every 2-3 days is the magic trick to making your manicure last longer.
Not to mention, this tends to work well if you get your manicure professionally done, because even if you have the best manicurist in the business, regular application of a top coat will extend the life of that manicure even longer. Invest in a quality topcoat, I personally live by Seche Vite (not sponsored, just my generous soul trying to help your manicure live longer). It’s the best I’ve found and dries super fast and diamond shiny.
3. Hit that nail file
Even when professionally done, your manicure will inevitably start to chip. The worst, right?
Well, in this case, if you want to extend your manicure for a couple of days, simply file your nails yourself to remove the chips. While this won’t be possible if you have a major chip, slight chipping is much less noticeable when you take matters into your own hands (literally).
4. Play with glitter & patterns
Yes, you read that correctly, glitter can become your new best friend when it comes to dealing with a grown-out manicure. Adding glitter polish to the base of the nail can hide the fact that the nail has started to grow out. Plus, that ombre glitter effect is kind of a cool look anyway.
Besides that, applying a full coat of glitter over your chosen color from the start, as a final step before the top coat, will make chipped nails way less obvious than a solid red or black. The same goes for a patterned manicure - it's way harder to notice chips among a funky pattern.
5. Go french
If you have the opposite problem (i.e. the top of the nail is chipped) and you’re not particularly handy with a nail file, try adding a thin french tip to each nail to hide any pesky chips.
6. Stop doing the dishes
No matter how great your manicure, one easy way to ruin a manicure in a hurry is to submerge your hands into water, especially hot water, for extended periods of time. So, while I would love to advise you to stop doing dishes, I know that’s not practical advice. But, simply adding a pair of rubber gloves to your dishwashing routine is easy.
7. Avoid hand sanitizer (jk, jk, relax)
In the era of COVID-19, classic beauty do's and don'ts have received a makeover to fit these crazy pandemic times. With that, hand sanitizer has become the norm, and while we certainly don’t want to discourage you from staying safe and healthy, try your best not to get hand sanitizer directly onto your nail.
Hand sanitizer dries out your topcoat, making it more likely that you chip your polish. Having said that, if getting hand sanitizer on your nails is an unavoidable situation refer to Tip #2 and continually apply a top coat to help protect your color.
8. Thin coats are everything
For my DIY ladies out there, one of the easiest tips for making your manicure last longer involves painting multiple thin coats rather than one thick one. Remember: There’s a good chance that thick coat isn’t going to dry fully, and is much more prone to chipping. On the other hand, multiple thin coats will dry nice and flat, increasing your chances of the manicure lasting. Yes, please.
9. Bring your own polish to the salon
If DIYing your manicure isn’t up your alley, one of the best tips you’ll ever receive is to bring your own polish to your salon.
While you might feel a little silly doing so, there’s a high probability that your nail salon is adding thinners to the polish to extend their shelf life. While this helps out the salon, it does nothing for you, and will most likely result in a manicure that doesn’t last. The manicurist might look at you funny when you walk in with your own polish, try it and see if you notice a difference.
And there you have it: the best tips to make your manicure last longer. While all of these might not apply to you and your preference for doing your nails, pick the ones that do and I'll be damned if you don't see a difference.