Too often, when I paint my own nails, it winds up looking like a drunk toddler got to them. Not to mention the fact that the top coat I use tends to peel off the entire layer of polish if and when I nick my nails on something. Add into the mix that I’m a nail biter and that I’d rather peel off all of my polish than fix a single nail and, well, you get the idea. What are the tricks to making a manicure last? How is it that when I get my nails done at the salon, my nails seem invincible but my at-home manicures barely last the day, let alone the week?
You can find tips and tricks on how to make your mani last in almost every women’s magazine on the shelf, but instead of pulling out the old trusty magazines, I went straight to the source. Katlyn Lamoureux, formerly of the Spa at the Inn at Bay Harbor, and Becky Kahn of Garbo’s Salon were kind enough to sit down and give me a few tips on how to make your manicure last the work week, rather than having them chip on day one.
1. Clean Your Nails Before You Start
Using white vinegar (or soap and water), wipe your nails down to remove any product build-up or natural oils that might be on your nails. The grime could create a barrier between your nail and the polish, causing it the chip or peel more easily.
2. Use Two Layers Of Top Coat On Your Tips
Because the tips of your nails are more prone to chippingKahn recommends using two layers of top coat on your tips, "to help the polish really stick."
3. Don't Shake The Bottle
Kahn says that shaking the bottle is the easiest manicure mistake to fix. “It creates air bubbles in the polish," she said. "This then leaves air bubbles on your nails, leaving your nails more susceptible to chipping and peeling.” If you need to mix the color, Kahn says to “gently roll the bottle between your hands until the color is properly mixed.”
4. Avoid Getting Polish On Your Cuticles
“This can be the hardest part of an at-home manicure,” Lamoureux says. “But it’s one of the most important things to practice.” She notes that polish on your cuticles creates a lift between the polish and the nail, leading it to chip.