Make Your Manicure Last Longer

September 2, 2014

After paying good money to have your nails done, or taking the time to it yourself at home, there is nothing more frustrating than having your freshly-painted nails get messed up the next day. It's happened to me countless times, and I've learned that even the simplest tasks, like typing up a quick email or snapping my handbag shut, can ruin a good mani. Here are some tricks I've discovered to help keep my nails looking good, days after I've had them done.  

1. Apply a top coat.
This may seem unnecessary if the nail technician applied a top coat at the salon, but adding a layer at least every other day will seal in the color and prevent chipping.

2. Keep cuticles moisturized.
Use a cuticle oil or this DIY cuticle cream, or grab some olive or grapeseed oil from your kitchen and apply a drop to each nail every morning and every night before bed to minimize peeling or splitting. 

3.Polish the free edge.
Applying the base coat, polish, and top coat to the free edge (the part that's been clipped or filed) helps to seal the nail color and minimize chipping.

4. Don't blow on your nails.
Your breath is warm, and applying any kind of heat to your freshly-painted nails actually slows down the drying process, which takes about 12 hours. If you want to speed things along, set your hair dryer to a cool setting and run it over your nails for a few minutes, or plunge your hands in a bowl of icy water. Just keep in mind that while they may feel dry to the touch, your nail polish has not hardened.

5. Wear gloves.
Submerging your hands in water, like when you're washing dishes, can lead to peeling. Wear rubber gloves whenever your hands will be immersed in water, and keep showers brief so your nail polish lasts longer.

6. Bring your own polish to the salon.
Sure the nail salon has loads more color options, but chances are they've been diluted with polish remover, which extends the life of old nail lacquer. Watered down nail polish won't last as long as newly opened nail lacquer, so bringing your own ensures a better, longer lasting manicure.

7. Cut them down.
You may love the look of long nails, but they're more likely to split. Keeping your nails on the shorter side will actually help your mani last longer.

8. Skip the sanitizer.
Hand sanitizer contains alcohol, which can eat away the shiny top coat and make color look dull. Instead of sanitizer, wash hands with a mild antibacterial soap or wipes.

9. Get it done early.
Since it takes roughly 12 hours for nail polish to dry and harden, don't wait until evening to get your manicure. You'll wake up to unsightly nicks or even sheet marks because you will have gone to bed before the polish had a chance to harden.

10. Take care.
Just because they're there, doesn't mean your nails should be used as a screwdriver or to scratch the label off a bottle. Be gentle and avoid using your nails as tools.


  1. I would never had thought to bring my own nail polish to the nail salon. You are right! I am sure they dilute their own. Makes perfect sense. Thanks for the info love!


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