Learn tricks to paint your nails like a pro and keep them looking fresh for longer.
We have our hands in everything — literally. From stirring and sautéing dinner, washing dishes, dusting the baseboards and picking up the kids, it’s no wonder why we feel like the weight of the world is in our hands.
Sure we’d love to face the world with freshly manicured fingernails, but let’s be honest, you don’t always have the time for that. With the cost of a typical trip to the nail salon costing over $30 and time rarely on your side, you need to create an at-home manicure that will last.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: Is it really worth the effort? Manicures last around three days, and one tiny chip can ruin a couple hours of time. Well, those tiny chips can be avoided and, with our advice, you might be able to make your manicure last a little longer and make the time pampering your nails worth it.
Check out our five tips to prevent your polish from premature chipping so you can face today with a polished look.
1. Prep nails with polish remover
No matter if you are actually removing polish or not — it’s always a good rule-of-thumb to use a polish remover to prep your nails before painting them. The polish remover will remove dirt, oils and any left over polish from your nails and will give you a good base to work with. Once your nails are smooth and clean, move onto the polish.
2. Use a base coat and top coat
The base-clear coat is a commonly forgotten item. Most of us get hasty and immediately reach for the polish, but a base coat acts as a primer and will help smooth and protect your nails. Don’t forget to apply this coat to the tips of your nails as well — this is essential to prevent premature chipping. After applying your base coat and polish of choice, give yourself a couple minutes to dry and use a top coat to seal the polish. Top coats can harden the polish, quicken dry time and give you a glossy finish.
3. Allow ample dry time
This is not easy. Giving yourself close to an hour for your polish to dry may seem like an eternity, but not giving your nails enough time to fully dry will only lead to smudging — and no one wants that. Plan drying around downtime in your day. Pop a movie in and watch it with your family or schedule a “hands-free” phone call with one of your friends. The hour will pass quicker, and you will be able to catch up with a good friend or take time relax.
4. Cold water
Looking for a way to ensure your nails are dry? Submerge nails into cold water to dry the polish. After giving your nails ample amount of dry time, top it off by dipping your nails in cold water. The water will harden the polish and finish off your at-home manicure.
5. Protect your hands
You just spent some of your precious time pampering your nails, now you have to do what you can to protect them. Now, this doesn’t mean daintily picking up everything in your house — life doesn’t work like that — but you can wear gloves when washing dishes or cleaning the house. Dish soap and cleaners can do a number on nail polish. Those yellow rubber gloves can be one of your best friends when it comes to protecting your nails.
Although it might seem like a long time, think about how much money you’re potentially saving. Not only will you get professional-looking nails, you’ll have the know-how to keep them that way.