4 Ways to Make Your Manicure Last (and Last and Last...)

If you are the type of girl whose idea of a good time is sitting in the salon repainting her nails twice a week (you’re probably Kim K, right? Hi Kim!), then this post is not for you. But if you are the kind of girl who does her own nails most of the time, only hits the salon on special occasions, and more or less likes to save her time and money for more important ventures, then here are some tips that are going to work for you. Behold, our top five tips for treating your mani like a marathon, not a sprint.

Light strokes win

When you do make it into the salon, watch how they work. Watch the way they dip the polish into the pot, how they wipe the excess off and how thick their coats are. Ideally, you should be applying three thin strokes — once down the center, and then one down each side, overlapping the center slightly. Being as light handed as possible gives you a longer lasting finish, being less likely to peel right off.

If you are DIY-ing, try a wide, fan-shaped brush that’s designed to fit your entire nail so you only have to coat (again, light-handedly) once. Bourjois 1 Second Nail Gel Formula is particularly good for this.

Seal the free edge

Whether you’re in salon or doing a DIY job, don’t skip this step. Applying a final coat of polish horizontally across the tip seals the edge of your mani so it’s less likely to chip. You’re aiming for the polish to coat the under edge of the tip, so don’t stress if you need to do a little cleanup on your skin.

Top it up daily

Applying a fresh layer of top coat daily in the morning will help to keep your mani continuing to look fresh throughout the day.

Apply cuticle oil

Your nails are so much more than just the nail bed. They’re your cuticles, the skin surrounding the nail plate (fancy name for the actual nail) and fingers. Keep everything hydrated with oil a few times a day. Olive oil works if you're in a jam, too.

Image: jronaldlee/flickr