11 Ways To Make Your Manicure Last Longer

by Emily McClure

As we all know, chipped nails are the worst. Avoid ruining your nail polish by learning how to extend the life of your manicure. There is no need to paint your nails knowing that it's just going to chip away two days later. That's such a waste of time! Keep your polish looking fresh by taking care of nails. It's all about knowing what makes them tick. Trust me, the answer may just surprise you.

There is more than one reason your nail polish is chipping away so quickly. From blasting heat to constant water exposure, there are tons of ways you could be unknowingly ruining your own manicure. It's time to relearn what you thought you knew about nail care. So, ditch your preconceived notions, and quit the vicious cycle of bad manicures by taking extra care of your nails. This may sound like a bunch of unnecessary effort, but if you're looking to extend the life of your manicure, then it's totally worth it. If the pro's are doing it, you should be too. Your nails will definitely thank you for it. Wondering what you can do to achieve a long-lasting manicure? Here are eleven ways to make your nail polish last longer, and look better.

1. Avoid Washing Your Hands Pre-Manicure

Actually, it's best to avoid water entirely before polishing your nails. According to Cosmopolitan, soaking your hands in water causes the nails to retain that moisture and expand. This means that once the nails become dehydrated, they'll shrink, and your nail polish will no longer fit your nails. Avoid instant chipping by keeping your hands dry pre-manicure.

2. Use Your Own Polish

If you're heading to a salon for a manicure, Redbook suggests to bring your own nail polish. According to the magazine, many salons use thinners to extend the life of nail color. Using thinners can actually cause the polish's color to change and bubble or peel once applied to the nail. No one has time for all that. Bring your own nail polish to avoid any mani mishaps.

3. Use White Vinegar Before You Apply Basecoat

Remove any pesky oils or product buildup from your nails before you apply polish. This buildup can a barrier between the polish and your actual nail, which can cause the polish to not adhere properly, according to Cosmopolitan. Wipe away any excess oils by using white vinegar. The vinegar helps to clean up around your nails without adding additional chemicals.

4. Shape Your Nails Properly

Will Ragozzino/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

File your nails properly by sweeping a nail file in the same direction. Avoid buffing back and forth with the file as this can cause breakage and tearing, according to Good Housekeeping.

5. Roll Don't Shake


If you nail polish has been sitting stagnant for a while, roll the bottle between your hands to mix the formula. Never shake the bottle. According to, shaking your nail polish can cause air bubbles in the formula, which make for a not-so-perfect manicure.

6. Avoid Quick-Dry Topcoats

Top Coat, $5, Walmart

While the idea of a fast-drying top coat may sound appealing, you should actually avoid them. According to the team at Good Housekeeping, fast-drying top coats tend to evaporate quickly meaning that your polish is left soft and can be prone to bumps.

7. Keep Your Nails Hydrated

Nail Oil, $12, The Body Shop

Think about it. If your skin is dry, it tends to crack and peel. The same goes for your nails. Keep your nails hydrated, and your nail polish looking fresh by using a nail oil. Good Housekeeping stated that the oil help to prevent your enamel from drying out, and lessens the chance of your polish separating.

8. Say Goodbye To Products With Alcohol

Products that contain fragrance, such as scented lotions or hand sanitizers, can actually ruin your manicure. According to Shape, the alcohol in these products eats away at polish causing it look faded, and lessens the longevity of your manicure.

9. Try A Rubberized Base Coat

Base Coat, $9, Amazon

If you're looking to make your manicure really last, consider using a rubberized basecoat. According to BuzzFeed, the tacky formula helps the polish to adhere better to the nail.

10. Seal In The Edges

When applying your top coat, make sure to focus on the tip of the finger nail. This is where chipping tends to happen naturally, so extend the life of your manicure by applying an extra layer of top coat to the end of the nail. Redbook swears this will double the life of your mani.

11. Avoid The Heat

Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Did you know it can actually take up to 12 hours for your nails to fully dry? Yup, you read that correctly. According to, until your nail polish is fully dry, you should avoid adding excess heat to your hands. The heat can cause the manicure to smudge or chip. So, go ahead, and put down the hair dryer. You don't need it.

Say goodbye to chipped manis, and hello to gorgeous, polished nails!

Images: Pixabay (7); Courtesy Brands