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The How-To Lounge: Making Your Manicure Last

A nice manicure makes me feel fresh and composed again, and I try to treat myself twice a month, barring any unexpected cash straits. It's good to sit still and be pampered, and I like to people watch without interruption for that half hour.

But a manicure doesn't look spectacular for long, and chipped nails or funky cuticles are a pain. I try to make my color last as long as possible, and I've found a few tips that really do make a difference.

Click here to

  • Keep your nails short. The longer the nail, the more likely the chipping.
  • Care for your cuticles. If you don't like to cut them, at least keep them pushed back.
  • Use cuticle cream, especially in winter. We hate hangnails.
  • Before you apply a base coat, clean your nails with nail polish remover. This will create a clean, oil-free surface.
  • Always apply a base coat. It helps the polish go on smoothly and evenly.
  • Apply thin layers of polish and be sure to brush the free edge of your nail using a horizontal stroke. If your polish is too thick, thin it by adding a small amount of remover to the polish.
  • Let your nails dry for as long as possible, at least twenty minutes.
  • Important hint: applying a top coat everyday will help protect the color and make your manicure last.
  • Use gloves when doing the dishes. For real.

And remember, when your polish chips, even a little, it's time to remove it.

Share any tips you have, too, ok?


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cosmetography cosmetography 10 years
Hey everyone. This is my first time commenting, but I just had to jump in on this one. I'm a Cosmetologist, and all the advice you gave was good, the only thing I can't agree with is the adding remover, or "thinner" (what some cosmo's will do) to the nail polish. IMO, and the way I was taught is that you should keep your polishes in the fridge to keep them fresh, making sure to warm them up before applying (by the time of the polishing of a good manicure, they should be warm enough). If you add even a small amount of remover/thinner to the polish, it will thin it for a while, and then it will begin to separate and break down the chemicals, since they're counteracting each other, and it'll turn into a chunky, gross mess. If your nail polish is getting too thick to handle, throw it out, its like mascara, it gets old. if its beginning to get thick, but its pretty new, add a small amount of top or base coat, something clear, and that will thin it slightly. oh, and one more thing on nails...along with the comment of wear gloves when doing the dishes, or getting your nails wet for extended amounts of time, I hope you all know that if you have an acrylic, or any fake nails, and one pops off, please don't glue it back on yourself. nails are like hair, they are porous, and so if you glued your nail back on, its trapping water thats in your nail, and it WILL become a fungus. Maybe not today, Maybe not tomorrow, but it will, and you will have to use stinky fungus remover for like, six weeks, no one in their right mind will work on your hands, and after the 17th, it wont be cool to have green nails. Shelagh McLeod
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Buff the surface of your nails with a superfine grade nail buffer, it helps the polish stick and my polish always chips less when I do it.
superjules superjules 10 years
Thanks for the advice, I need it!
miss-britt miss-britt 10 years
thanks for this. I always wonder if there was a way to avoid chip nails. ****"Everything in life is only for now."-Avenue Q****
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