1. Prep your nails
Remember that any bumps, ridges, or imperfections on your nails can cause your nail polish to chip, so take the time to remove any old nail polish, and make sure you shape, file, and buffer your nails so you’re starting with a smooth base.
2. Wash your hands
Have you ever wondered why the lady that does your nails at your local salon always asks you to wash your hands REALLY WELL before she applies that deep plum polish you can’t wait to try? I have. And when I asked the gal that did my nails last weekend what the reason is, she explained that any excess oil can prevent polish from adhering to your nails, which can lead to chipping.
So WASH YOUR HANDS!
3. Apply a base coat
I always assumed an extra layer of nail polish would do nothing but increase the amount of time it takes my nails to dry, but it turns out applying a base coat is one of the most important steps in getting fabulous, chip-proof nails. Not only does it prevent polish from staining your nails, but it also adheres to your nails better than regular polish, which helps extend the length of your manicure..
4. Allow nails to dry
Ideally, you should let your nails dry for at least 2 minutes in between each coat of polish, and if you’re wearing a darker shade, you should wait at least 3 minutes as darker polishes typically take longer to dry.
5. Apply a chip resistant top coat
For me, finding a good chip-resistant top coat has been a game-changer in extending the life of my at-home manicures, especially when I’m wearing dark nail polish.
6. Dip your nails in ice cold water
I learned this trick to help nails dry faster when I was researching for my 10 Beauty Secrets Every Woman Should Know post, and I was amazed at how well it works. But that’s not the only trick out there. Be sure to check out these 5 simple ways to dry nail polish faster over on Prevention for more ideas!
7. Apply a top coat every day
If you REALLY want to extend the life of a polish change, you can apply a top coat every single day.