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How to Keep Nail Polish From Chipping

These few little tricks will extend the life of your manicure



How to keep nail polish from chipping

Digital Vision for Getty Images

Ever spend an hour doing your nails only to smudge a nail within minutes of finishing up the last coat? Here are my favorite tips to keep your nail polish from chipping when doing your own manicures.

Start With Clean Nails

When you get your nails professionally done, they always clean your nails with nail polish remover even if you had no nail polish on them. Why? Because natural oils will keep the nail polish from actually adhering to the surface of your nails.

So, always swipe each nail with remover before applying polish.

Prep Nails With a Base Coat

Polish will adhere best to nails prepped with a base coat.

Thin Coats, Not Thick Coats

Thinner coats are less risk of smudging than thick coats. I recommend 3 thin coats of polish rather than 2 thick coats. This cuts down on drying time between coats and there's less chance of bubbles brewing on your nails if they don't dry in time.

Polish Your Nail Tips

When polishing, polish the tip of the nail as well. This helps cut down on nail polish chipping.

Shimmery Colors Chip Less

The little particles of sparkle help polish cling to your nails, so if you like a shimmery finish, this is yet another reason to go for it.

Apply a Clear Topcoat

Topcoat helps extend the life of your manicure. You can use the base coat as a topcoat. Do brush topcoat on and around the edges of nails as well, it's an extra seal against chipping.

Allow Proper Drying Time

This is where I always mess up because I tend to be impatient with nail drying times. Whenever I move around before my nails are dry, I always smudge them.

Nails need about 45 minutes drying time before you hande objects. Once dry time is over, submerge nails in cold water then apply lotion. This allows for a slippery surface until nails are completely dry.

For pedicures, wrap toes in plastic wrap if you're wearing shoes other than flip-flops or sandals.

Keep a Topcoat Handy

To prolong the life of your manicure, apply a topcoat every other day.

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