Question: How can my manicure last longer?
Answer: You can tell a lot about a woman based on her manicure. If she has red nails, she’s a fierce leader that means business. If she wears black polish, she’s chic and edgy. If her nails are chipped, she’s a hot mess. Or, she’s just salvaging what’s left of her $8 manicure. Us girls love nothing more than slathering on a fresh coat of nail lacquer. But watching it slowly chip away can be a total buzz kill. If you want to keep the fresh-ness of your manicure, check out these tricks:
Before you paint your nails, it’s important to make sure they’re clean and exfoliated. Most salons take care of this with polish remover and nail buffer. For a thorough cleaning, try scrubbing nails with an old toothbrush and a bit of whitening toothpaste. This gets rid of the dead skin and brightens up your nails.
After you’ve scrubbed, wipe off your nails with an acetone-based cleanser and some cotton pads to dehydrate those nails. If possible, skip the pre-manicure nail soak at the salon. Although it makes your cuticles soften up and easier to remove, the moisture in your nails will prevent the polish from lasting. Dry nails will help the polish adhere to your nails longer.
When applying the clear base coat, go for a sticky polish. The base coat is important because it gives the nail lacquer something to hold on to. If the base coat is a bit sticky, the polish will go on more smoothly. The base coat also prevents staining from darker polishes and protects nail beds from splitting and cracking.
DIY manicures are better for your wallet, but most of us don’t have the time or patience to achieve this task. If you’re seeking a mani from a pro, be sure to bring your own nail polish with you. Most salons add thinners to their polish to make the enamel last longer, which is said to sometimes lead to a sub-par mani with premature chipping. Bringing your own polish helps you avoid this problem, and also gives you more options when it comes to color.
When applying the polish, be sure to seal off the edge of your nail. Start off from the nail bed and paint over the edge of your nail that has been clipped or filed. This will prevent any air or water damage later on.
Once your manicure is complete, your polish will take at least 12 hours to fully harden and dry. Most salons will have you dry your nails under a UV lamp, but exposing your polish to heat will mess up the drying process. Until the first 12 hours have passed, avoid washing hands with warm water, blowing hot air on them or exposing them to any kind of heat.
In the days following, apply an extra coat onto your nails. This will freshen up you color and cover up any spots that may have already chipped. Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid any lotions, soaps or hand sanitizers that contain alcohol—they’ll break down the polish and leave your nails looking dull and chipped. Instead, wash hands with a mild antibacterial soap and stay away from scented hand lotions.
They say a woman is only defenseless when her nails are still wet. But once your manicure is sealed and dry, these tricks will keep your hands looking like the strong, sophisticated woman you are!