Achieving a longer lasting manicure can be difficult, especially if you use your hands a lot in your day-to-day life, which let’s face it, most of us do. Chipped and smudged nail polish is probably a regular occurrence, which is very frustrating when you have painstakingly painted your own nails in preparation for your office Christmas party or Christmas Day.

So for those of you who don’t have time to give yourself a daily manicure or visit the salon for gels then we have some tips for you to try at home to help keep your nails pristine for just a bit longer;

PREPPING YOUR NAILS

  • Choose your shade then roll the bottle between your hands to mix the colour as it can sometimes separate when left standing for a time. Do not be tempted to shake the bottle, as this will introduce air bubbles, which can cause a lumpy finish making it easier to chip.
  • Push back cuticles in the shower when nails are soft.
  •  Buff gently into a shape that mirrors your cuticle (this reduces breakage of the nail) then prep the nail with acetone.
  • Wipe down your nails with white vinegar on a cotton bud before applying a basecoat. It will help to remove any product buildup or natural oils on your nail beds that could create a barrier between the polish.

APPLYING THE POLISH

  • Apply a base coat all the way to the cuticle. A sticky one will help to make the polish last longer as it holds better. It is advisable to apply a second coat of base colour once the initial layer has dried as this will make the barrier between the polish and your nail thicker thus reducing the chance of chips.
  • Don’t forget to paint the ‘free edge’ at the top of your nails to ensure the entire area is sealed. 
  • Apply two thin coats of your polish and leave a minute or two to dry in between.
  • Dry your nails with cool air from a fan or using the cool setting on your hairdryer. Dipping your fingertips into ice water can help too.

PRESERVING THE LOOK

  • Dents should be smoothed out right away, which can be done using a little saliva on your finger to push out the dents.
  • Washing your hands with a mild soap rather than a hand sanitizer will help prolong your manicure as sanitizer can dry nails out which will ruin your top coat.
  • Applying nail oil daily will help the overall health and strength of your nails by adding the much-needed moisture they require. The less moisture they have then more likely they are to break or split.
  • A clever tip for hiding a grown out gel manicure is to cover the base of your nails with glitter to create a pretty ombrè effect.
  • Wear rubber gloves when washing up – or get your partner to do it (yeah right!)