Manicured hands make you look professional at work, get you compliments from your friends, and never fail to put you in a great mood, especially when you find just the right dress to match your nails for a night out.
However, having pretty nails can require some high maintenance. Not everyone has the time or money to get manicures done every week. There are gel manicures, which do last longer, but they come at a great price. The UV exposure to your hands during the process is very harmful to the skin, and the removal process, which requires your nails to be soaked in 100% acetone, dries out your nails and turns them cracked or brittle. Therefore, the most practical and least damaging way to paint nails is still doing it by yourself, at home, with non-gel polish.
A problem we all have with regular nail polish is that it never seems to last long enough to be worth the effort. As cute as these nail lacquers are, in their various alluring shades of pastel and metallic, they are not so cute when they chip after just two days, leaving you with a whole lot of frustration. With the proper application and aftercare, however, you can delay chipping and peeling and extend the life of each application. We’re all jealous of that one friend who always has hers perfectly done. If you want to know how she does it, here’s how. Follow these tips during your next at-home manicure for longer-lasting polish.
Before application, clean your nails thoroughly with soap to make sure there is no oil on your nails and nail beds.
Always use a base coat! It gives a smooth surface for painting and also helps the nail polish stick to your nails better.
Roll your polish bottle between your hands – this will get rid of any air bubbles and also warm up the polish for a smoother consistency.
Always dry each layer completely before applying the next coat. Instead of fanning your hands or blowing on them, try dipping your nails in cold water for 3 minutes for faster drying.
Use a slow-setting top coat. Quick-drying topcoats are convenient but are also more prone to denting and not as long lasting as slow-setting topcoats, which provide a harder finish.
For aftercare, always keep your hands moisturized with hand cream and cuticle oil so the nail polish is less likely to dry out and crack. Also, apply another layer of topcoat every few days.