Whether you prefer to have your tips done professionally at a salon or by yourself at home, manicures and pedicures are luxuries that cost not only money, but time and some effort as well. And just like any purchase or something you worked hard on, you want to make it last as long as possible. Sadly, these cosmetic nail treatments tend to have a weak longevity: a non-gel manicure or pedicure can chip within a matter of days, not weeks; sometimes the same day if you aren’t careful. Unfortunately, normal day-to-day activities all have the potential of damaging your pristine polish job, but if you follow our tips below you may be able to keep them looking fresh a little longer:
1: Clean your nails before you start -
If you’ve ever had your nails done by a professional, you’ll notice that the first step in a manicure is always to clean your nails, even if they don’t have any polish on them. You can do this with isopropyl alcohol or a nail polish remover, or even white vinegar if you don’t happen to have either on hand— these solvents help dissolve and remove any oils on your nails that may hinder polish from sticking to the surface effectively. Once they’re clean and dry, apply a base coat that helps protect your nails, such as the Pony Effect Nail Care Base Coat from MEMEBOX. Like an eyeshadow primer, this helps your nail polish last longer and makes the color pop more vividly.
2: Care for the cuticle -
Cuticles are an essential part of your nail. They’re a part of your skin and sit atop the place where your nail grows out of. Their existence helps protect the area. However, any polish applied to the cuticles will be incredibly chip-prone, so it’s best to push your cuticles back before doing any painting. Softening your cuticles makes this process easier and much less painful. Just soak your fingertips in warm water or use a cuticle oil.
3: Roll, don’t shake the nail polish -
The presence of air bubbles in the polish makes the coating chip-prone. Instead of shaking the nail polish bottle and creating bubbles, roll the bottle between your hands to agitate the formula. This also warms up the polish, helping it spread more easily over the surface of your nail. Instead of applying a thick coat, take your time and really get into the zone by applying many thin coats instead. Only the top layer of a thick coat will dry, so it’s easier to smudge if you make a wrong move.
4: Seal the free edge -
The distal edge, aka the free edge, is the outside tip of your nail. When applying base coat, polish, or a top coat, you should cover not only the nail plate but the edge as well. This seals the entire nail and prevents chipping.
5: Top up your top coat -
After applying polish, allow it to dry and then follow it up with a clear top coat. This locks your paint job on and provides an additional layer of protection to your pristine manicure. You’ll want to reapply this every two or three days. Taking this extra step also helps prevent your manicure from chipping and keeps it looking shiny and new.
6: Know how to repair a chip or smudge -
Accidents will happen, so arm yourself with some knowledge on how to fix a damaged manicure. You can smooth out any chips or smudges with a cotton swab dipped in polish remover, then spot-treat the affected area with the polish you used originally. Skipping this step means having a bumpy nail that will be more prone to catching on things and chipping again.
With these hacks, you can keep your tips in top shape and not have to worry about a ruined manicure within a week or less. Do you have any tips of your own? Share your favorites with us!
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