13 Tips on How to Make Nail Polish Stay on Longer ...

I don’t know about you ladies, but recently I started doing my own manicures, and the issue I have is how to make nail polish stay on longer. Sometimes, when I do my own nails, I can only go a day or two before I start to see it all chipping away. So I did some research, and I have got it down to a science now, so I thought it’s only fair to share it with my gals. Here are my 8 tips on how to make nail polish stay on longer.

1. Nail Polish Remover is a Gal's Best Friend

Something I don’t think any of us think of, on how to make nail polish stay on longer, is the very thing that takes it off! The oil on our hands is one of the things that chips away at our polish; who’d a thunk it, right? The best thing to do, before you slap on that base coat from your favorite brand, is go over your nails with some nail polish remover. Even if you aren’t wearing any polish to begin with, just to remove any excess oils you may have on your nails.

2. Use a Base Coat First

Your polish will actually stick better to your nails if you prep them with a base coat first. I absolutely love Essie’s Fill the Gap! Ridge Smoothing Base Coat, because it’s not only a great base, but when you have beat up nails like mine, it helps to even them out as well. You can’t beat the price either, at an average of $7 a bottle it’s a steal that works miracles.

3. Laying It on Thick Not Good with Guys ... or Nails

For some reason, every time you get your nails done at the salon, the stylist makes it look effortless, right? I know when you go and get them done there, it’s usually two coats of polish, and then your clear top coat. If you’re like me, though, it never looks the same I’m sure. This is by far the best tip I found on how to make nail polish stay on longer. Instead of doing two really thick color coats, do four very thin coats of color instead. This tip will help you cut down on drying time, and get rid of the bubble issue I’m sure so many of us have.

4. If You Want Your Mani to Last Steer Clear of New Trends

Who hasn’t heard of some of the cute new trends in the nail world lately? Caviar and sequin nails are a fabulous new trend that I fell head over heels for, and I’m sure so have many of you. The only thing about these trendy new talons is that they don’t stay on for more than a couple of days. This is something I would only recommend if you are going to a cocktail party or something fancy pants that you want to have as an added accessory. They are definitely not for everyday wear, or for lasting more than a few days.

5. Shimmering Colors Last Longer

Everyone knows that the hardest nail polish to remove is anything that sparkles or shimmers, so going with these colors are definitely a way to get that mani to last. The shimmer and glitter really will stick to your nails, and adds a little glamour to any outfit or occasion. If you are worried about getting it off, because it can be a pain in the buns, there are tons of tutorials here, and on the web, that have easy and practical ways to get it off. Now there are even neat new colors from O.P.I’s Maria Carey line that have sand in them, and I have to say I love it, because it really does last!

6. Top Coating is like Waxing Your Car

Everyone knows that after you slap on that China Glaze "Shape Shifter" you have to put on that clear top coat right? The same rule applies here, though, that applied to rule number three. The same way that you can apply too much color, you can always apply too much top coat, and have to go back later and fix your chips. Do two very thin coats and you will dry a lot quicker and not find yourself doing so many touch ups.

7. Be Patient when It’s Time to Dry

You could have followed all my advice from step 1 to 6 but if you don’t give yourself enough time drying, you can completely ruin all your hard work. Did you record last night’s episode of Nashville, because you were out on a date? Great, take a seat, and watch it, because in 45 minutes your nails will be good and dry. Once you’re done watching the drama that could emulate your own life, go dunk those pretty nails in cold water. Lastly, throw on some hand lotion. This will get your nails slippery and scratch proof until they are completely set.

8. Maintaining with Oils and More Top Coat

The very same oil they make you wash off your hands at the nail salon, can help keep your polish on longer. One thing on how to make nail polish stay on longer, that we all forget is that your nail bed, and cuticles need to be well hydrated. When your cuticles and the sides of your nails are dried out, they tend to chip more. I like to keep a bottle of cuticle oil by my sink in the bathroom, and try to apply it once in the morning and once at night. Also with the wax analogy I used earlier, if you top coat once a week, at least, you will see your polish last longer.

9. Wipe Nails with Vinegar

Sounds like a weird tip, but it's one that everyone should definitely try at least once. Use a cotton swab to wipe your nails with white vinegar before you apply the base coat. This removes any product buildup or natural oils on your nail beds that could create a barrier between the polish. Once your nails dry, apply basecoat. This will help to prevent your nail polish from chipping.

10. Don't Soak Nails

Manicurists have a tendency to soak your nails before they paint them. They do this to soften the cuticles, but it ends up making your nails expand. When your nails are painted while they're expanded and they eventually shrink, the nail polish won't fit anymore. If you're getting a manicure, ask them to use cuticle oil instead of water. If you're doing your nails yourself, skip the soaking!

11. Wear Gloves

When you're doing the dishes, make sure you wear gloves! This will help to protect your manicure because submerging your nails in warm water is not helpful! Just like in the last tip, your nails will expand and it will ruin your nail polish. The chemicals in soap can also start to cause your polish to chip. So wear gloves or use you manicure as an excuse to skip the dishes!

12. Cuticles

Another way to get your nail polish to last longer is to avoid getting any polish on your cuticles. Getting polish on your cuticles can cause the paint to lift from the nail which can inevitably lead to chipping. I wouldn't suggest cutting your cuticles either. To prevent getting polish on them, you should use cuticle oil and a pusher tool to push back your cuticles.

13. Seal the Edge

This is one tip I definitely need to remember to do more often! When you're applying your nail polish and top coat, you need to make sure to cover the edge of your nail with the top coat. Since the edge of your nail takes the brunt of the beating when you're typing, untying your shoes, etc., they need to be protected the most. Once the chipping at the edge starts, it's hard to stop it, so prevent it instead.

Well, there you have it, my soon-to-be finely manicured friends, my 13 tips on how to make nail polish stay on longer. If you can get it down to a science, too, then you will save yourself a lot of money and time avoiding the salon. I hope these tips help ya’ll and if you have any ideas of your own, please help a sister out!

This article was written in collaboration with editor Lydia Sheehan.