How To Prepare Your Nails For Long Lasting Colors On The Nails

Painting your nails is not only a fun way to spend time with family and friends but you can feel relaxed and put together. However, with day-to-day activities—such as washing the dishes, gardening, and doing work — your paint can easily chip off and the polish doesn’t last nearly as long as you’d like.

Read on to find out simply adjustments you can make so that you get the most bang for your buck from your polish and have a coat last more than a day or two.


1. Make Sure You Paint a Clear Top Coat

Painting a clear top coat over your color helps it last longer and makes it less prone to chip off. Make sure though that your color has dried before you do this—otherwise you could risk smearing your color.

Of course, some people do this on purpose to get a streaky, artsy color effect. (For some fun, why not use a top coat with glitter?)


2. Re-Apply the Clear Top Coat

What many don’t do is re-apply the clear top coat a few days later. While your color will last longer with a clear top coat, re-applying it will only make your color last even longer. Since your color has already dried, this should only take a couple of minutes.


3. Protect Your Hands

Wear gardening gloves when you do yard work and rubber gloves when you wash the dishes. Protecting your hands can help minimize chipping and flaking.


4. White Vinegar is Your Best Friend

Wipe your finger nails with white vinegar to get any oil, grime, or dirt off of them. That way, you have clean nails ready for the base coast. (Your base coat will last longer because there is less of a barrier.)


Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash


5. Keep It to Two Layers

According to InStyle, Geraldine Holford, nail polish pro, states that you only need to apply two layers of your main color; applying more could lead to (unnecessary) peeling.


Photo by Camila Damásio on Unsplash


6. Limit Shoes After Just Getting a Pedi

While you may walk out of the salon after a pedicure with flip-flops, don’t feel too hurried to get into your shoes. If you wear shoes too early, you risk compressing the polish.

The same goes for a home job too. So, plan to give yourself (or get) a pedicure on a day where you don’t need to wear closed-toed shoes. That way, you can play it safe; your pedicure will thank you.


7. Buff, Buff, Buff

Before putting on any color, buff your nails so that they are smooth when you apply the base coat. This will minimize cracking, and will help create an even color effect.


8. Consider Gel Nail Polish?

An experiment from Bustle showed that, while gel and regular nail polish lasted the same number of days, the gel nail polish chipped off less—despite the nail polish wearer typing and working out throughout the week.

Perhaps there is something to getting that gel nail polish? (To learn more about gel and regular nail polish, check out


9. Your Nails Will Grow

Know that even if you apply a clear top coat frequently, naturally your nails will grow. This is normal, and know that you can always do an at-home manicure to “cure this.”


10. To Soak or Not to Soak?

Normally, soaking your nails in water is a normal part of an (at-home or salon) manicure. Nonetheless, according to Total Beauty, this step can cause the nails to expand momentarily.

After they dry (and usually when the polish has been applied), the nails shrink—which, as Total Beauty states, can cause chipping. The cure? Ask your manicurist to skip the soak. (The same goes for if you are doing your nails at home.) That way, your polish will last longer, with minimal wear and tear.


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash


Final Thoughts

Using these steps will help your polish last longer. Know that, as mentioned, you will have to get or do a manicure again.

Nails do grow and, even with applying a top coat frequently and protecting your hands, your nail polish may endure some chipping. This is normal and is only an excuse to give yourself a relaxing mani/pedi again!

What other tips do you recommend? Let us know!



Thank you to Guest Author Ashley Lipman.


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