How to Make Nail Polish Last Longer

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How to Make Nail Polish Last Longer

If it seems like you just paid for that mani-pedi and the polish is already chipping or flaking, then you’ll want to try these pro solutions for making nail polish last longer. A few tweaks to your nail care routine is all it takes to extend the life of your manicure.

How To Make Nail Polish Last Longer

The less time you spend on manicures throughout the summer, the more time you can spend enjoying the sunshine. That's why we're always on the hunt for solutions to chipping, peeling and prematurely worn manis. We asked the pros how to make nail polish last longer. Whether you DIY or frequent the salon, these six tips will ensure better-looking tips right now.

"Start clean," says Renee Meyers, guest artist for OPI. "Sanitize the nail plate with alcohol and use a product like Chip Skip to enhance the polish's performance." Refrain from doing anything that will dirty the nail. In other words, once you start the manicure process, don't stop until the nails are painted and dry.

While nail technicians certainly know how to file a nail properly without creating splits and tears in the free edge, these skills are not common knowledge. Filing in one direction at all times on the free edge of a nail and using a natural nail-appropriate file (240 grit or higher) is key. Apply a nail strengthener every other day to keep the manicure looking fresh while adding strength to the weak areas of the nail plate or free edge.

At-home application
For an at-home manicure, Samira Far, founder of L.A.-based Bellacures, recommends a polish with shimmer or glitter for an even application: "When you're using glitter, it doesn't really matter how many coats you apply. Avoid creamy, nude, or dark colors when applying at home if you want clean lines around the edges." For summer, Samira recommends a coral or mint with a bit of shimmer for easy application. Her favorite at-home polishes are Essie and OPI. Some other tips? Just out of the shower, push back cuticles—that's when they're at their softest. Be sure to moisturize cuticles with products like Dr. Hauschka's Neem Nail Oil Pen or Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle Cream.

To avoid staining the skin around the nail, Allison Stephens for Sebamed suggests applying a cuticle oil or cream like Sebamed Hand & Nail Balm before and after removing old nail polish. This will keep the hands hydrated and keep hangnails, cuticles and breakage in check, allowing for less frequent manicures.

Preserving a salon mani
A few extra steps after a salon manicure will save time and money in the long run. Wear gloves when washing dishes or working around moisture. Apply a new topcoat, like Seche Vite or Butter London Horse Tail, after two or three days to extend the life of your mani. Cuticle oil is also a mani's saving grace. Try an avocado oil like Avoplex to penetrate dry areas quickly and deeply.