We always recommend a gel polish for the lasting shine and longer wear for women we know are rough on their hands or don’t want the hassle of coming back every couple of days for a new coat of regular polish because their nails have chipped. But for those of us who still like the feel and ease of regular nail polish (being able to take it off with ease and repaint them yourself when ours chips) You wonder what you can do to help make it last just a little longer.

First thing you can do to help make your polish last when you do it at home is not washing your hands before polishing. Most of the time the soap your use at home has a moisturizer in it that makes your nails oily and the polish not adhere to your nail bed as it should. Before you polish clean your nails with polish remover, this will remove any excess oil or dirt on the nail that you can’t see.

The Next thing you can do is make sure when you file your nails, you file them all in the same direction. Running a rough file back and forth too much makes your nails more susceptible to peeling and breaking. Before you polish, be sure to buff your nails with a standard square buffing block (you can pick one up from a local sally beauty or Walmart.) When you buff be sure to buff in a downward motion, so that the strokes will match the downward motion when you polish.

Next, always use a high quality, nourish base coat and a high quality top coat.  This will protect your nails from staining and fill ridges and strengthens your nails. This extra layer creates  a smooth base for your polish, therefor making your polish smoother and less likely to chip. In addition to a good base coat, you will need a good quality top coat. This seals the polish as well as protects the color and makes the top coat more likely to wear away rather than the color you just put on your nails. When applying your top coat and polishes be sure to seal off the end, by running a small amount to the end edge of your nail, just enough to cover it.

When polishing your nails, don’t apply too much polish. Your first layer should be very thin, you may think it looks splotchy and uneven but a thick first coat makes it hard for it to dry and also makes the whole polish application too think, making it chip faster. Your second coat can be thicker but just enough polish to cover your whole nail. Follow the basic rule of 3 strokes for your whole nail; one down the middle, then one side and then the other.

These are steps that we as nail professionals use when you get your nails done with us. These steps help to ensure some longevity to your manicure. We also use these precautions to avoid damaging your natural nails, and trying to preserve and even help the length of your nails. We hope you find these tips helpful the next time you choose to do your nails at home!