How to Make Your Manicure Last Longer

Every girl I’ve talked to agree that the reason our nail polish is constantly chipping is because we spend so much time typing on keyboards and the constant clacking on our BlackBerries. Our technology addiction is doing a number on our nails, but in most cases this can’t be helped. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think telling my boss that I couldn’t finish that proposal or get those emails sent off due to the stress it put on my manicure would go over very well. Nor is switching careers a viable option. Luckily, there are several tricks to making your hands look like they live the life of luxury.

#1 – Keep your nails short with a rounded tip. This length bangs against keys less and is less likely to bend (another common cause of nail polish chipping).

#2 – When you file your nails, only file one direction. When you go back and forth with a file on the end of your nails, you end up with minuscule rips in your nails. Those little rips will turn into big rips, resulting in nail polish chips.

#3 – Buff the tops of your nails. Nails naturally have ridges in them. How defined these ridges are varies greatly between people, but everyone has ridges in their nails. Buffing these ridges out allows for a smoother nail polish application. The smoother the nail polish application, the longer your manicures will last.

#4 – Ask your manicurist to apply a swipe of base coat, color and topcoat across the tip of each nail.

#5 – Apply a layer of topcoat to your manicure every morning for 8 days of chip free digits.

#6 – If you paint your own nails, make sure you use a high quality base coat, such as ones made by OPI, China Glaze or Essie. Then apply two layers of color, allowing time for each coat to dry before applying the next one. Finally, apply a high quality topcoat.

#7 – Natural oils found in our nails and hands keep polish from adhering as well as it could. To minimize these oils, use pure   acetone  as your nail polish remover. Nail polish removers that claim to be “moisturizing” or for “brittle nails” contain oil. While they might remove old nail polish, they are distributing ingredients that keep new polish from sticking. Always use pure  acetone . It’s the best for completely removing old polish quickly and easily. After removing old polish with  acetone , wash your hands well. Then use rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad to wipe down each nail bed to ensure there’s no traces of oil left before starting to paint.

#8 – Use high quality nail polish brands. They might be a little more expensive than some drug store brands, but if you’re painting your nails less, it’s lasting longer, thus cheaper in the long run. The most popular of these is OPI or Essie. Both brands have a vast array of colors and can be found loads of places. OPI is even available at your neighborhood Target!

#9 – Become a fan of light pink and nude color nail polishes. There is not a difference in the formula of light colors vs. dark colors, but if you do get a chip, it’s less noticeable with light colors, making you look like you always have perfectly manicured nails. My personal favorite is a pink shade by OPI called Bubble Bath. It looks classic, clean and shows the world that you care about your appearance, without looking old or overdone.