How to make your manicure last longer

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Are you sick of your nail polish chipping a couple of days (or hours) after you’ve painted them? Are you tired of your perfectly shaped nails breaking?

Well, that’s not too much to ask! Here at the bh office, we’ve done a fair few manis. So, here are our tips and tricks for making your nails look flawless for as long as humanly possible.

#1 Get rid of the grime

Dirt, grime and oil build up on your nails throughout the day. This creates a barrier between your nail bed and the polish, so it’s more likely to chip. Before you paint your nails, loosen the grime with by going over your nail bed with an old, dry toothbrush. Then, soak a cotton pad in white vinegar and swipe it on your nails. Now they’re ready for a base coat.

#2 Back away from the water

Don’t soak your nails before painting them. When you do this, your nails retain some water and expand. Once they’re painted, they’ll shrink back down to their normal size and the polish will no longer fit your nail. If you have to wash your hands before applying polish, wait at least five minutes to ensure they’re completely dry.

#3 File properly

The stronger your nails are, the longer your manicure will last. So what’s the best way to prevent breakage? Keep your nails short! After cutting them, file into a shape that mirrors your cuticle for the best results.

#4 Ace the base coat

A good base coat makes the world of difference. We recommend the CND Stickey Base Coat. Its sticky texture fixes polish to the nail, prolonging its life. In fact, we’re going to go ahead and make this a mani commandment!  

#5 Let them dry

To give your nails enough time to dry, wait at least three minutes between coats of polish. And this applies to every coat you do – base, colour and top. If you’re in a rush, apply two drops of Revitanail Instant Dry Drops to wet nails. The top coat dries nails in a matter of seconds.

#6 Cool over warm, always

In life, some things – like dinner – are better served hot. The air to dry your nails, however, is not. If you need to speed up the drying process, choose a fan over a hairdryer. And please don’t blow on them! As tempting as it is, the moisture in your breath can actually prevent polish from drying properly.

#7 Don’t skip the top coat!

After you’ve brushed on a base coat and two decent coats of colour, apply a top coat! This is one of the most crucial steps to getting a salon-style mani. We love Sally Hansen Mega Shine Top Coat. The long-lasting, high-shine formula will keep your manicure sparkling for about a week. Bonus: it also contains UV inhibitors that prevent polish from fading or discolouring.

#8 Be careful of household products

Some household products can ruin your polish. Alcohol is usually the culprit – it eats away at polish and causes it to fade and chip, so step away from the hand sanitiser! Wash hands with a mild antibacterial soap, and avoid hand creams or moisturisers containing alcohol.

#9 Apply nail oil religiously

If you want beautifully hydrated nails and cuticles, invest in a good nail oil. We’re huge fans of OPI Avoplex Nail and Cuticle Replenishing Oil. Apply it every morning to keep nails in tip-top condition and prevent them from drying out and splitting. We recommend working it into your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.

#10 Get friendly with gloves

Cleaning products are a mani’s worst enemy, so don rubber gloves when washing dishes or cleaning the bathroom. For extra protection, apply a thin coat of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to your nail beds before putting on the gloves. It will work to keep water and harsh chemicals at bay.

#11 Fix those chips

So, you’ve followed all the above steps, but your nails still chipped. [Insert crying face emoji here]. Simply cut or file down the chip, and seal with another top coat layer. Nobody will know!  

Have you used any of the above tips? Do you have any other tricks to help your manicure last longer?

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