I'm no stranger to a chipped mani here (especially a fresh one) or a smudged pedi there. There's really nothing more frustrating than spending what feels like half a day in the salon, only to reach into your purse and snag your nails on the zipper of your wallet. (Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.)
That sort of mishap is fixable at the salon, but what about 30 minutes later when you look down and notice you've chipped the corner of your pinkie nail? That kind of mess you have to clean up at home — by yourself.
Stress not. I have ten easy tips to make your nails last well into next week.
1. Start With a Clean Nail Bed
Whether you're giving yourself a mani/pedi or getting one at a salon, make sure your nails get cleaned properly before you do anything else. (Do not skip this step.) Our nails secrete natural oils, making it harder for nail polish to adhere to the bed.
2. File First
Uneven filing or snags at the end of your nails are invitations for disaster. Make sure your nails are evenly filed, straight across with slightly rounded edges. The "squoval" shape keeps the longest without causing chips.
How to: For tips on pulling off a great at-home pedicure, check out this video.
3. Rinse Between Cleaning and Filing
After filing your nails, wash your hands thoroughly to get rid of any filings or snags. You don't want flecks in your nail polish.
4. Be Sure to Properly Dry Nails
Painting even a slightly wet nail bed can ruin the entire manicure.
5. Use a Base Coat
Skipping the base coat in a manicure is so tempting. Who has the time to wait around for four layers of polish? You do. (If you want the manicure to last.) Using a base coat ensures you have a clean, smooth surface to paint.
6. Apply Two Layers of Color
It's tempting to glop on one thick coat of nail polish color and call it a day. But you'll pay later for skipping out on that second coat when indentations show up to ruin your hard work. Be patient and paint one thin layer of color at a time. Wait two minutes (at least!) between the first and second coat of color so things don't get sticky. (Gross.)
7. Apply a Top Coat
Again, a top coat seems like a step that's easy to skip. Don't be tempted. Your pretty nails need a top coat to seal in the color. The top coat will also take the brunt of the wear and tear on your mani/pedi. Just remember, before you apply, make sure the colored polish is dry.
8. Do Not Touch Anything
This may seem obvious, but many a mani/pedi has met its demise by not following this rule. Not waiting long enough for your polish to dry is the No. 1 mistake most of us make. Sure, we're all in a hurry. But if you don't wait long enough, the whole thing will have been a waste of your time. Fact: Nails need at least 45 minutes to an hour to dry completely. I'm such a big offender, bumping my nails all over the place before they're dry.
9. Treat Nicks Immediately
Whether you're two hours or two days out from your manicure or pedicure, fill a nick or scratch immediately with nail polish in the same color family. This will prevent the problem from getting worse.
10. Continue to Reapply the Top Coat
Keep a top coat handy — in your car, at your desk, or on your nightstand. Be sure to apply a thin layer every few days to keep your nails strong and protected.
All these steps may seem like a lot of work, but it's worth it in the end. A mani/pedi can last a couple of weeks if you take care of your nails along the way. No shortcuts! Shop Now !
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