Applying a top coat is essential to making a manicure last longer. A top coat can prevent polish from chipping and fading. To properly apply a top coat, start by wiping off the excess clear polish on the bottle opening. Then lay the brush at the bottom of the nail and swipe it all the way to the top. Finish by capping off the tip of the nail to prevent further chipping. If your manicure is starting to dull, apply more top coat to liven it up.