If you’re going to take the time to paint your nails, they better last long enough to make it worth it. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take when doing your nails to ensure they look great for longer.
1. Prep Nails with Polish Remover
Whether you’re removing polish or not, it’s always a good rule of thumb to use polish remover to prep your nails before painting them. It will remove dirt, oils and any leftover polish from your nails — and will give you a good base to work with. Once your nails are smooth and clean, move on to the polish.
2. Use a Base Coat and Top Coat
The base coat is a commonly forgotten item. Most of us get hasty and immediately reach for the polish, but a base coat acts as a primer and will help smooth and protect your nails. Don’t forget to apply this coat to the tips of your nails as well. This is essential to prevent premature chipping.
After applying your base coat and polish of choice, give yourself a couple minutes to dry and then use a top coat to seal the polish. Top coats can harden the polish, quicken dry time and give you a glossy finish.
3. Allow Ample Dry Time
This is not easy. Giving yourself close to an hour for your polish to dry may seem like an eternity, but not giving your nails enough time to fully dry will only lead to smudging — and no one wants that. Plan drying around downtime in your day. Pop a movie in and watch it with your family or schedule a hands-free phone call with one of your friends. The hour will pass more quickly, and you will be able to catch up with a good friend or take well-deserved time to relax.
4. Cold Water
Looking for a way to ensure your nails are dry? After giving your nails ample amount of time to air dry, dip your nails in cold water. The water will harden the polish and finish off your at-home manicure.
5. Protect Your Hands
Taking a little extra care during your day-to-day life to protect your nails is easier than it sounds. If you do any gardening, consider putting on some gloves. And if you do any crafting or redecorating, just take it easy when cutting, pinning, gluing or moving furniture around.
A little extra time and care up front will ensure your at-home manicure lasts longer.