6 Ways To Make Your Mani Last Forever–Well, Almost

by Stephanie Montes
Getty Images

It’s hard enough to find the time to get a mani or to put the effort into doing it yourself, but then it instantly chips or smudges? So frustrating. Not to worry: Our genius tips are sure to make your paint job last longer than ever. Follow our lead and messy nails will only be a thing of your past.

Always Have A Fresh-Looking Mani

Photo: Getty Images

Skip The Soak Session

When you get a manicure, the technician will likely want to soak your nails in warm water to soften your cuticles. Your nails are like a sponge; they expand when soaked in water and then shrink when they dry, which can cause polish to crack. Instead, try a cuticle-removing oil before your next mani.

Start With A Clean Canvas

Even if you didn’t previously have nail polish on your nails, use nail polish remover to wipe off any excess oils, moisturizer or residue. The surface of your nails must be clean in order for your polish to really adhere to it.

Do All The Necessary Steps

Painting 2 coats of polish onto your nails before you run out the door is fine when you’re in a pinch, but don't expect it to go the distance. Always start your paint job with a base coat and finish with a topcoat.

Let Nails Dry Completely

Your polish may seem dry, but believe it or not it can take up to 12 hours to harden all the way. That window of time is when you need to be the most careful. Translation: no washing dishes, applying greasy lotions or scratching rough surfaces.

Refresh Your Mani

Reapply a clear topcoat every few days to keep your mani shiny and prevent chipping. Make sure to only do a thin layer and then seal the ends with a swipe across the tips.

Make It Really Last

For even longer-lasting results, turn your favorite nail polish into a gel manicure thanks to this handy kit. After you've applied ordinary polish, coat it with the clear gel provided, cure with the LED light and you’re good to go for up to 2 weeks.