Achieving the perfect DIY manicure is no easy feat—and it’s even more frustrating when it chips in just a few days. But not anymore! You can make your polish last longer by incorporating these easy tricks into your at-home nail-care routine.
The key to getting a lasting manicure is to prepare your nails to be polished. The first step is to start with clean, dry fingernails. Girls, this means ditching the shower then nails routine: polish simply won’t stick to damp, slick nails. Instead, use your polish remover to get rid of any residue and kill any bacteria sitting on the nail surface.
Next, file in one continuous motion to smooth down any rough edges. (Remember that filing your nails vigorously in a back and forth motion will weaken them, making them more prone to breakage.)
Finally, using a buffer to smooth the ridges on your nails will create the perfect canvas for your nail colour to be applied.
Painting and Polish
Now you’re ready for the polish. But first, use a base coat, which strengthens your nails and allows the nail colour to stick better. After the base, begin applying your nail colour in thin layers, letting your nails dry completely in between coats. Finally, add two to three coats of a strong, clear topcoat for extra shine and strength.
Tip: Paint your ‘good’ hand first. You’ll always be unsteady painting with your ‘bad’ hand, but your ability is diminished when the ‘bad’ hand is still wet from polish. Not only will this switch leave your nails looking like they were done by a pro, but it also makes for a more even application and longer-lasting manicure.
Maintaining Your Manicure
Between washing your hands, typing on a laptop or fussing with your hair, your hands and nails undergo a lot of daily strain. At the end of the day, re-apply a single layer of topcoat to keep your nails shiny and protected.
The first sign of chipping usually appears at the end of the nail where the seal is the weakest. Prevent this by running the topcoat polish along the edges of your nails, keeping them protected from wear and tear. Of course, drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet (including lots of protein) will help keep your nails strong and ridge-free—the best kind of nails for a manicure!