Who loves a fresh-looking manicure? *raises hand* Everyone! If you followed our recent guide to a non-toxic manicure at home, your nails should be looking pretty good right about now. And while nail polish isn’t supposed to last forever – and that’s a good thing – there are some tips and tricks to keep your nails healthy and your manicure looking good for longer.
Read on for our tips to avoiding any mani-misadventures.
1. Shape your nails in one direction
We know you’ve heard it before, but it’s always good to have a reminder. When you are shaping your nails, file in one direction and avoid sawing back and forth. Another good tip is to hold the file flat against the nail tip. If you angle the file, you can thin the nail tip.
2. Protect your nail bed
The stronger your nails are, the better it will be! Apply a nail strengthener to give you the extra support needed to make your nails long and strong in between manis. It can also be used as a base coat to help your nail polish adhere to the natural nail while protecting your nail bed!
3. Hydrate your nails and cuticles
You wouldn’t dream of skipping out the door without moisturiser on your face, but we often forget that our nails and cuticles need hydration too. Dry, dehydrated nails are more likely to peel and split, and that gorgeous polish you spent Saturday afternoon applying may not make it to #ManiMonday unscathed. Grab a hand cream and some cuticle oil and apply frequently to keep your hands looking and feeling their best. This is especially important if you are in a cold climate.
4. Minimise the use of care products with a high concentration of alcohol
Hand sanitizer may kill germs, but it can also kill your manicure. The high percentage of alcohol in hand sanitizer eats away at the topcoat and causes the polish to become dull and fade. Although we have to use a lot of it these days, keep hydrating your hands afterwards to prevent your hands becoming too dry. Hairspray and perfume will have the same effect as hand sanitiser, and are not your friends when it comes to maximising the life of your manicure.
5. Wear gloves
No one likes chores but they are a necessary evil for most of us. Sigh. But did you know that chores are also responsible for shortening the life of your manicure too? Water gets into the nail bed causing the nail polish to become unstuck and lift. It’s a lovely thing, water. But it’s just not conducive to a long- lasting manicure. Protect your mani and your hands by wearing gloves if you are washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms or loading and unloading dishwashers.
6. Roll the bottle
It’s so tempting to shake a bottle of nail polish before a manicure. But resist! When you shake a bottle of polish you can create air bubbles and if they pop they will make a hole in your manicure. Roll the bottle between your hands instead. It’s still satisfying, we promise.
7. Base Coat
Base coats keep your nails strong and create a smooth surface for applying polish which, as we all know now, prolongs the life of your manicure. It’s is designed to stick to your nail bed and differs from a top coat, which is designed to stick to lacquer.
8. Top up your top coat
Some people swear by topping up their top coat every second day to keep the shine high and the colour intact. Yes, it’s still a teeny-tiny bit maintenance, but if it’s going to keep your manicure looking beautiful longer.
9. Drying time
While nail polish can be touch dry in a few minutes, it takes a bit longer for it to cure completely. We recommend painting them just before you go to bed or a Netflix marathon. That way they will have a good chance to dry and harden completely while your hands aren’t busy.
10. BYO Polish to the nail salon
A hot tip for the nail bar aficionados: if you have a polish you love and you know works for you, take it with you to the nail bar. A professional application of your favourite product will you give you a mani that lasts for ages. A great nail tech will also clean up your nails and keep them looking chic.