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Once you get a manicure, your first goal will be figuring out how to make nail polish last longer. You’ve waited all week to give your nails a fresh coat of polish. You knew that you were going to be busy planting flowers, painting, working with clay, lifting heavy boxes, or just about anything that would have ruined your nails had you got them done prior.
There’s nothing quite like the frustration that comes along with having your nails done and having them look beautiful for about 37 seconds before you accidentally brush your hand against a wall or scratch your nose or breathe too heavily and suddenly, you’ve got a deep ridge running across two of your freshly painted nails. You look around and you see plenty of other people with perfectly groomed nails. They somehow manage to keep their nails looking fresh for at least a week or two before they need to get them done again.
There’s no magic trick. There are things that you can do to make sure that your nails stay freshly coated once you leave the salon or finish doing them yourself. These tricks that help you figure out how to make nail polish last longer range from things you need to do before you paint your nails to steps you need to take after they’re done. Once you know what these tips are, you’ll be able to flash your hands around for at least a week before you need to give them a touch-up. Following are some ways to keep your nails looking fly and fab after they’re polished.
How to Make Nail Polish Last Longer
Image Source: Pixabay
Tip #1: Stop Soaking Your Nails
One of the first things that happen when you go to a nail salon is having your hands placed in a bowl of warm, soapy water and being left to soak. The reason nail techs do this is because they want to soften your cuticles, but this turns out to be a bad practice on the back end. What happens is that when your nails are submerged in water for a long time, they end up absorbing a lot of water, expanding and growing to a larger size.
After your nails are painted and dried, they contract to their original shape. That shrinking causes your nail polish to chip, stretch, and crack because the nail polish no longer fits the nail. Instead of soaking your nails, ask your manicurist to use cuticle oil to soften the cuticles instead. When figuring out how to make nail polish last longer, this is one of the best ways to do it.
Tip #2: Invest In a Good Base/Top Coat
Many times when people get their nails done – usually when they do the nails themselves – they use a cheap base coat or topcoat if they use one at all. Lots of people are in a hurry, so they simply apply one or two coats of polish on their nails and nothing else before they head back into their busy lives. These people really need to figure out how to make nail polish last longer because not putting any base coat or topcoat on your nails is basically guaranteeing that you will end up with chipped nails in just a few days after the polish is applied.
A good base coat will help provide the perfect surface for applying polish, almost acting like a primer by creating a smooth surface. A great top coat will help seal in your finished polish perfectly, forming a seal that will help keep the color in place longer. One great tip is to add an extra two layers of basecoat to the tips of your nails. Your nail tips are the most exposed area of your nails, and the basecoat will help strengthen the tips so that your polish stays in place longer.
Tip #3: Keep Your Nails Moisturized on a Daily Basis
When you go about your daily life, your hands go through a lot. You wash dishes, wash your hands constantly, and deal with extreme weather. Figuring out how to make nail polish last longer is job number one for you. Your hands take the brunt of that abuse, particularly your nails. They become dried out and brittle, eventually chipping and messing up your beautiful polish. To figure out how to make nail polish last longer in this case, add oil to your nails every day. This will help keep your nails and hands soft and moisturized, lessening the likelihood of them chipping. Make sure you also add oil to your cuticles.
Tip #4: Use Moisturizing Soaps When Washing Your Hands
Those commercials that show the type of damage bar soap can do to your skin and nails aren’t lying. Many of the soaps we use to wash our hands with strip oils and moisture from our skin, leaving them exposed to the elements. The same ingredients that strip moisture from your skin strip it from your nails as well, leaving them hard and brittle. Once they’ve been weakened, they can break easily and your polish can chip.
If you really want to figure out how to make nail polish last longer, use moisturizing soaps and lotions on your hands so that your skin and nails are protected. Your nail polish then has a much better chance of lasting longer.
Tip #5: Roll, Don’t Shake Nail Polish
Admit it: the first thing you do when you get a new bottle of nail polish is to shake it. It’s almost an instinct born out of the idea that nail polish bottles have to be shaken in order for the contents to be fully blended. Many people believe the contents of the nail polish bottle settle in layers separated by weight, and sometimes they are.
The problem with shaking the bottle is that doing so traps air bubbles inside. Those bubbles end up inside of of your manicure, making them look a lot less flawless. If you’re worried about the contents of your nail polish bottle not being fully mixed, roll it in your hands instead. Roll it the way you’d roll out a length of clay between your hands. Keep in mind that you only need to mix your polish if it’s obvious that the polish has separated. You should also mix it if the polish appears veined.
Tip #6: Keep Nails Short, Filed, and Healthy
Unless you have a reason for wearing your nails super long, it’s best to keep your nails filed nice and short if you want your manicure to last any length of time. When you wear your nails long, you’re living the tips exposed and vulnerable. They’ll be the first to go when bumped against a table, used to open a door, and just about anything else you use your hands for. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your nails filed short. Short doesn’t mean invisible. It simply means that you’re keeping your nails safe from damage.
A neatly rounded, short French manicure is a great length. It shows a bit of nail but doesn’t make them so long that they become a liability. You’ll also want to keep your nails healthy. Poor nutrition and bad nail care can need to nails that are much weaker than they should be. Weak, brittle nails don’t hold polish well, leading to chips and scratches. If you have weak nails, use a nail strengthener to strengthen them. Take vitamins and nutrients like biotin, other B vitamins, and silica that can help your nails get stronger. Healthier, stronger nails mean you’ve succeeded in figuring out how to make nail polish last longer.
Tip #7: Make Sure You Give Yourself Enough Drying Time
We’re all busy, so it’s understandable that you’d want to shoot out of the salon as soon as your nails look dry. The problem is that just because nails look dry doesn’t mean they are dry. Today’s polishes have a mirror-like glossy look that makes them look dry even when they’re wet. It’s understandable that it can be difficult to tell. If you make assumptions and move too soon, you’ll ruin your just-applied polish. Build substantial drying time into your nail polishing time so that you give your nails enough time to dry thoroughly.
Tip #8: Use Cool Air to Dry Your Nails
When your manicure is done and it’s time to dry your nails, use cool air instead of hot air. Cool air will dry your nails to a slick, shiny finish that’s perfect and hard. Hot air will actually keep the polish from drying, so keep your drying setting on cool. Another trick you can use is to dip your fingertips into ice water and hold them there for about 60 seconds. This can help the polish set faster as well.
Tip #9: Apply a Fresh Coat of Topcoat Every Three Days
One great way to keep your nail polish looking fresh is to apply a fresh coat of clear top coat every few days. Your topcoat layers seal in your polish, but it’s also the first layer to be worn away by everyday tasks. By applying a fresh coat on a regular basis, you’re helping the polish layer stay nice and fresh. Keep doing this until just before you’re ready to get a fresh manicure.
Image Source: Pixabay
Keeping your nails looking beautiful takes a lot of time and effort. If you get them done at a salon, you can add money to that equation as well. All of your time and effort will be worth nothing if the manicure doesn’t last. By following the above tips, you can get your money’s worth out of a professional manicure or make a self-applied manicure last as long as possible.