“I love a simple manicure but it chips in 3 days. I don’t like gel or other foreign objects on my nails. How do i get a natural manicure to last longer?”
-nails clipped but polish chipped
If you take your time painting your nails or paying to get them done at a salon you want to ensure you are getting the most out of your time and money. Without proper preparation and care for a mani/pedi it still may chip within just a few days.
Although gel and fake nail treatments may seem like a good alternative since they last longer than a traditional manicure, they both contain harsh chemicals which can be bad for the natural nails. Gel manicures can leave nails paper-thin and can take up to 9 months to fully harden. The removal of color from a gel manicure also requires soaking hands in acetone and scraping off the polish. This harsh removal process can be poor for both skin and nails.
Removable false nails also cause thinning and breakdown of the natural nail. The worst nail breakdown occurs when it comes time to remove them. This type of treatment also requires expensive fills-ins that usually cost around $25 dollars when nails grow out every two to three weeks. These treatments alone can cost more than your typical manicure and the chemicals involved may also cause allergic reactions. To get the most out of a manicure these tips can keep newly polished nails CHIC for at least a week.
Look for new nail polish at salons or bring your own- Some salons use thinners in order to extend the shelf life of the polish. These thinners may make the nails chip easier since it makes each coat of polish less strong. Test the thickness of polishes on a nail before selecting a color or bring your own to the salon ensure it doesn’t contain thinners.
Prep your nails. Start by removing dirt and grime with a toothbrush before your manicure using a whitening toothpaste to give your nails a refreshing and clean feeling. Then remove any moisture or oils with a dry cotton pad and an acetone based cleanser to dry out the nail and prepare it for polish. Using a nail surface cleanser is another alternative to prepare the nail for polish and ensure your mani will last longer.
Use a nail file or buffer to rough up the nails. If you are getting a professional mani/pedi your nail technician will do this but be sure not to skip this step when doing an at home manicure. Making the nails rougher allows the polish to cling better to the nail, making it less likely to chip post manicure.
Apply a sticky base coat- using a base coat that is a bit thicker and more tacky will help the polish cling better to the nails. Applying a base coat is also crucial when applying dark colored polish to prevent it from staining nails. Follow the coat of colored polish shortly after while the base coat is still wet to allow it to stick better.
Don’t forget the edge! Another way to make sure your mani lasts is to seal the base, color and top coats along the free edge of the nail. This will help prevent the polish from starting to chip as easily and will keep your mani lasting longer.
Avoid heat! While nails may seem dry just minutes after polishing the total drying and hardening process can actually take up to 12 hours. Using any sort of heat on nails can interfere with the hardening process and may cause nails to chip faster. If possible try to avoid the UV lamps at the salon or using your warm breath to dry nails and stick cool air fans instead. Also avoid any other forms of heat such as hot showers, saunas or washing hands with hot water for up to 12 hours post manicure.
Add moisture and avoid alcohol- keeping the nail bed moist with cuticle oil will help prevent polish from cracking and chipping since this is where the nail starts to grow from. Petroleum jelly can also be used as a protective top layer to help seal the polish and keep it from cracking when dealing with water. Also be sure to avoid any products containing alcohol (such as hand sanitizer) which can remove the top coat polish, causing your manicure to chip faster.
Doing some simple prep before and after your mani will save time having to redo or fix chipped or cracked nails. All of the products needed for a longer lasting manicure are very inexpensive allowing you to keep your mani looking polished and CHIC on a budget.
Here are some cute summer manicure styles to try:
What do you use to help make your manicure last longer?