The last thing a woman wants is to go to a dinner party, or a business meeting, only to look down at her hands and see chipped nails. Talk about a mood killer! The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to keep chipped nail polish out of the picture. Here are some easy tips that will enable you to show off your manicure long after you’ve swiped on that last coat of polish.
Clean Up Right
Sometimes it looks like your nails are ready for a new paint job when they’re actually not, which means your nails aren’t going to absorb new color as much as you’d like. Before you start painting your nails, you need to ensure that they are squeaky clean. This means not only getting rid of any leftover polish with the use of polish remover, but also swiping away any oils that can be lingering on your nails. After using polish remover on your nails, wipe your nails with a cotton ball dipped in vinegar. This eliminates any moisturizers or oils that can create a barrier between your nails and sparkling new color.
Don’t Forget the Base
A base coat is essential when painting your nails. It avoids those horrible yellow stains from nail polish, while also preventing polish from bubbling, which is one of the main reasons why color doesn’t stay put. When nail polish forms those tiny bubbles, it becomes easier to weaken and chip. When choosing a base coat product, opt for one that has a sticky consistency. This helps color you apply on top of it to stick to the base coat properly, making it much more chip-resistant.
Keep the Tips in Top Shape
Where do nails often experience the most scuffs and chips? On their tips, so be sure to give these a bit of extra attention during your manicure. You should start your mani by painting a layer on the tips of your nails, not the entire nail, before painting the nail from cuticle to tip as normal. This gives the tips more reinforcement.
Choose to Shine
Some nail polish colors are more resistant to chips, and if they do chip they won’t display it as much. These include pale, neutral colors as well as shimmery tones. A coat of glitter nail polish over your color is a great way to add some dazzle to your look while concealing any nicks that should occur. This extra coat of shine also helps to toughen your manicure against scuffs.
Glitter polish is usually much tougher than regular polish, not just when it’s on your nails but also when you have to remove it! When you want to take it off, do so with this trick so that you don’t damage your nails (and ruin your next mani): soak 10 cotton balls in nail polish remover and then wrap one around each nail, using pieces of tinfoil to keep them in place. Wait 10 or 15 minutes and then remove them. Twist them around on your nails as you take them off to remove the polish. It will come off easily without harming your nails.
Tips for the Perfect Top Coat
Always finish your manicure with a top coat. This helps to make your nails much shinier, but it also offers your nails an extra defence against nicks and chips. When applying a top coat, don’t get it onto your skin or cuticles, though. Instead of sealing in the polish better, this actually enables oils to get underneath the coating, which can weaken your nail color.
To prevent your nail polish from getting onto your skin, which also makes a mess and gives your manicure a less-than-professional look, apply some petroleum jelly to the areas where you don’t want your nail polish to end up. This makes your DIY mani a much cleaner affair that will last longer.
Thin is in
You don’t want to apply thick coats of polish to your nails, even if you are in a hurry. Thinner lashings of color will dry faster and prevent bubbles from forming. Give your nails a chance to dry properly between coats, and the thinner the coat the faster it will dry. Make sure you apply every thin layer properly. You want to hold the brush parallel to your nail so that you can apply the polish evenly from cuticle to tip.
Even though it’s tempting to add more polish to a layer of color that looks streaky after one coat, as is often the case with pale colors, resist the urge! Wait for that layer to dry and then cover up the streaks with a nice, full layer of polish.
Make that Mani Last
The problem is that we use our fingernails in a variety of ways that destroy our manicures. From scratching off stickers to washing dishes with harsh detergents, you can’t expect long-lasting, chip-proof manicures if you’re constantly putting your nails through the trenches. Protect them well after your paint job by wearing gloves when washing dishes or gardening, and handling objects with your fingertips instead of your nails (this is why short nails can be so great for longer-lasting manicures).
You should apply moisturizer and cuticle oil every day. This prevents your nails from drying out, which makes your polish less prone to getting chipped. Other mani maintenance includes boosting your nails with the application of a clear top coat a few days after your manicure. This is a quick and easy tip to maintain your beautiful and shiny nails, making it look like you’ve just had a fresh mani.
Fun Damage Control
If it should happen that in spite of all your best efforts your nail polish has chipped, don’t fret! You can save it by disguising the wreck with a few easy nail art hacks. Try a French tip to hide scuffs or opt for an asymmetrical dash of glitter that goes a long way to disguise any damage while giving your nails a trendy look.
Your hands and nails are always on show. Make them look their most beautiful by following the above tips for a longer-lasting, chip-proof manicure every single time.