It’s an all too familiar scenario: The perfect red, purple, or neon pink nail marred by the inevitable nick, chip, or smudge. Can you say, “frustrating”? It’s enough to make you throw your hands up in despair—but that would only put that peeling paint job on display.
So why is it that some manicures go the distance while others barely make it through the day? Is it all about the application? A particular product? Or simply having some serious manicure mojo?
To nail down the answer we sought the advice of a few of our favorite beauty bloggers to get their best tips for avoiding chips. These women are pounding their keyboards putting their digital beauty expertise out there nearly every day (so just think what it’s doing to their manicures). But we didn’t stop there. To vet the advice we enlisted a second opinion from one of the biggest nail mavens in the biz: Essie Weingarten, creator of the eponymous line. The result: five tips that are sure to help your lacquer last. Now get out there and embrace one of this season’s fabulous blue hues with confidence.
Tip #1: Jeannine Morris, beautysweetspot.com
Polish shrinks when it dries, so make sure you cap the edges of each nail with a layer of polish.
Essie says: “So true. Using top coat, make a short brush stroke across the tip of the nail to help seal polish and extend the life of a manicure.”
Tip #2: Holly Baril, beautyundercover.com
If you live in a damp climate, prepare for extra drying time after a manicure.
Essie says: “It’s true. The more humid the environment, the longer nails take to dry. Give nails at least two minutes of proper drying time between each coat of polish. Then wait at least 15 minutes for hands to completely dry. I always say my manicure is my 'me time.' Relax, put down your iPhone and Blackberry and just enjoy it.”
Tip #3: Baze Mpinja, makeup.com
Wear gloves when you’re washing dishes or scrubbing the tub.
Essie says: “Absolutely! Water and soap can wreck havoc on your manicure. Take steps to protect your hands and avoid using your nails as tools.”
Tip #4: Amber Katz, beautybloggingjunkie.com
On day 4 or 5, when your manicure starts to wilt, resuscitate it with a hint of glitter which hides chipping and gives nails a new look.
Essie says: “Glitter does hid imperfections, but I really recommend applying one coat of top coat to refresh a manicure and using a cuticle oil daily.”
Tip #5: Megan Williams, apolishproblem.com
Prep your nails properly. Start with a nail dehydrant with a sticky base coat over top.
Essie says: “A dehydrant—whether acetone or Sea Breeze—wiped on the nail bed helps remove oils. Make sure to choose an extra gentle one that won’t damage nails (like Essie Naturally Clean Purifying Polish Remover). If your nails have trouble holding on to polish, opt for an adhesive base (like Essie ‘First Base’ Base Coat).”