Leaving a salon or even your bathroom with a fresh paint job— a matching manicure and pedicure that is, can help you feel refreshed and put-together. But why is it, regardless of who does your nails, your tips can barely survive changing the channel on your remote while the polish on your toes could survive an apocalypse? Well, as Smith & Cult Beauty Ambassador Sarah Bland tells me over email, it has to do with how much we use and abuse our hands compared to our feet.
"Polish lasts longer on toes than fingers because we use our hands as tools and they're in water much more often than toes," she explains. Yeah, that makes sense. After all, how many times a day do we wash our hands, send a text, fish for keys, scratch our pets, and do numerous other things with our fingers while our toes sit pretty inside our shoes? And while it may be near impossible for a manicure to ever hold up as long as a pedicure does, there are some ways to help extend the life of the polish on your fingers. Besides simply applying a base and top coat along with your polish, here are four things you can do for a longer-lasting mani:
1. Clean Your Nails
Before polishing your nails, Bland recommends cleaning your nail bed with either rubbing alcohol or pure acetone. This will ensure there are no oils left on your nails to interfere with the polish properly adhering, and therefore lasting longer.
2. Reapply A Top Coat
"The best thing to do to extend your manicure is to add an extra top coat a couple of days into your mani," says Bland. This will help reinforce your polish and give you another layer of protection as your daily activities wear away at your manicure.
3. Don't Forget The Edges
Whenever you add a top coat, including the first time and any subsequent touch-ups, be sure to paint across the free edge of your nails, says Bland. Covering the tops of your tips will help keep your polish totally under-wraps and prevent it from being able to be lifted off the edges of your nails.
4. Use Cuticle Oil
Using cuticle oil to keep your nails hydrated will also help extend the life of your manicure, reveals Bland. But, she warns, only apply oil or lotion after your nails are polished. This will still give them the moisture they need without hindering the staying power of your polish.
Because even if your nail polish can't last as long as your toe polish, at least it can last through the weekend.