DIY Home Manicure to Keep Your Nail Polish Lasting Longer

Lady protecting her manicure by using gloves when carrying out any cleaning tasks
Protect your manicure by using gloves when carrying out household tasks

A perfectly painted and shaped manicure somehow has a way to bring your whole look together & helps to make you feel extra chic. But it can be frustrating when the polish chips off a day or two after application. In order to keep your polish perfect for longer, there are a few simple tricks you can follow for salon-quality results that you can create yourself at home.  

This can be done by taking proper care of your nails and using the right polish formulas to ensure that your nails are nourished, to prevent them from drying out to cause premature chipping.

To prevent weakening your nails and extend the life of your polish, we’ve created a simple step-by-step for you to follow so you can enjoy a great DIY manicure every time that stays chip-free for longer.

Here is a useful guide to show you how to keep your nails healthy to maximize the life of your manicure and to keep them looking professional without going to the nail salon.  

How to Keep Nails Healthy before having a manicure

two hands folded over one another, with neatly manicured nails.Nail health determines how good your nails look. Protecting and strengthening your nails can keep them nourished and encourage growth. Follow the steps listed below to take proper care of your nails to keep them happy and healthy for longer.

Don’t Cut Your Cuticles

Healthy cuticles mean healthy nails. Cutting your cuticles can cause bacteria to spread to your nail. So don’t cut them off as they can break this barrier that stops bacteria from entering your nails. But to get your nail polish colour all the way to the edges of your nails, simply push your cuticles back gently instead. This can make a big difference.

Apply Nail Oil as part of your manicure.

You wouldn’t skip moisturizing your face, so why should your nails be an exception? A major part of maintaining your manicure is to keep your nails nice and hydrated. A dry, hardened nail can actually break easily, so it is important to make nail oil part of your routine to rehydrate between polishes to minimize brittleness and flakiness. However, remember to do this well before painting your nails.

Your nails should be oil-free before applying your manicure to ensure that it applies without slipping and sliding.

Buff your Nails before having a manicure

Buffing can prevent little ridges on the surface that can cause the polish to crack, while also stimulating blood flow to your nails to encourage it to grow.

So, to increase the longevity of your polish and maintain healthy nails, sweep the buffer gently over your nails in a downward motion to even out any ridges to give you a smooth nail surface to work with.

But, make sure you don’t buff your nails too hard: buffing can cause your nails to become more pliable and therefore more prone to breakage.

Lady's hands with white polish and rings place on a bed of pink flowersGive your Nails a Break (in between having a monthly manicure!)

Don’t forget to give your nails a break from time to time so that they can rest and repair.

Wearing polish too often can dry out the nails and even cause them to go yellow over time. Therefore, try to only apply nail polish every other week; that’ll give them a week to rest so that they stay strong and healthy.

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Prepping for Nail Polish

manicure prepping with two hands, one applying cuticle oil to the other hands nails.
It’s wise to prepare your nails before any DIY manicures.

Before you apply your nail polish, it’s important to know what kind of polish to use and how to prep your nails, so that the polish can stick properly (and therefore last longer).

So, before you go ahead and grab the polish, ensure you follow the steps below first as we explain what to do and what not to do to prepare your nails for the perfect manicure.

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Buy a Good Quality Nail Polish

It is well worth investing in a good quality nail polish. Higher quality nail polishes contain more pigment and fewer chemicals and so the colour is more likely to look more vibrant on your nails and stay put for longer.  

Avoid using matte polishes that aren’t as long-lasting, instead try to find a good gel polish, which has more staying power. However, if you want to wear nail polish on a more regular basis, try a breathable polish formula that is healthier for your nails and will allow air and water to pass through it.

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A complete manicure, a lady's hands with pink and white polish holding a bottle of nail polish with a plant near her hand.Do Not Shake the Bottle

If you haven’t touched your bottle of polish in a while, it will probably need a good mixing to really blend up the formula and pigment. But, if you are tempted to give your bottle a good shake, don’t do it!

Shaking the product can cause air bubbles to form, which can lead to chips, reducing the lifespan of your manicure. To avoid these bubbles and mix the colour gently, hold the bottle upright and roll it between your hands in a to and fro motion. This will heat the product slightly and activate the molecules inside, allowing the formula to mix well for an even colour.

 Keep Your Nails Short

If you have a job or lifestyle where you use your hands a lot, it is best to keep your nails nice and short. The shorter your nails are, the less pointy edges there are for the nail to scratch on objects or surfaces and chip the polish offReduce your chance of breaking a nail or chipping the polish by keeping your nails short and comfortable instead.

Don’t Soak your Fingertips

While you may get your fingernails soaked in a salon, this is mainly just for pampering purposes or to soften the nail slightly. However, when you do this, the nail absorbs the water in which you soak it and can cause it to temporarily puff up. But, the nails shrink back to their normal shape after the water evaporates. Therefore, if you have applied your polish before this, it can cause the polish to chip and crack, which can lead to a not-so-perfect manicure.

Use Nail Polish Remover Before Applying Polish

Nail polish remover is not just for removing old, unwanted polish. It is crucial to start off with a clean base before nail polish application to ensure that the polish sticks and stays.

To remove any oil, water or dirt from your nails first, pour a little nail polish remover onto a cotton ball and gently wipe off any excess residue so your nails are ready for a neat and even manicure.  

How to Apply the Nail Polish

A complete manicure. A lady applying red nail polish to her hands with two other polishes beside her on a light purple backgroundA smooth, clean manicure that lasts long can be difficult to achieve. But when applied properly your polish can look professionally done and last for longer without chipping.

Follow our steps below to find out how.

Start with Base Coat

Once you’re ready to start applying your polish, make sure you start off with a base coat first. A base coat does the same job as lip balm does before lipstick; it provides a nice smooth surface for the product to glide onto.

Choose a good, sticky formula that will help your polish cling onto your nails for longer. This will act as an adhesive and allow the pigment of the polish to fasten onto your nails more securely. A base coat doesn’t just increase the longevity of your polish but also acts as a barrier to protect your nails from the damaging effects of the polish and prevents the darker polishes from staining your nails.

Apply the base coat in thin layers and allow it to dry properly before applying your polish.

Apply the Polish in Thin Coats

Don’t lay your polish on thick. If you pack the polish on, it makes it more pliable, so the slightest bump could create movement, causing the product to peel or chip off your fingernails much quicker. Therefore, thin coats will ensure a much longer-lasting manicure.

Two coats are all you need for just enough polish that covers the entire nail neatly. Anything more and the product is more likely to flake off your fingernails.

So, don’t overload your nails with a product, and this can also help the polish to dry much faster than if it is applied in thick layers.

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Finish off your manicure with a Top Coat

Topcoats harden as they dry and seals and secure your polish into place and protect it from chips and scratches. Make sure your nails are fully dry, then paint on a thin layer after you apply your polish to prolong the life of your polish. Not only does this protect the nail and fasten it into place, but it also gives your nails a nice glossy finish.

Don’t forget to add a little extra topcoat to the tips of your nails to seal it with double coverage, as the surface of the nail is where chips are more likely to happen.

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Protect Your Nails

Household chores and chemicals can damage the nails and cause it to fade much quicker and take away its shine. So, when you are washing the dishes or using cleaning products, try to use rubber gloves to extend the life of your polish for longer.

For more nail-related articles, click here to learn How To Get Mirror Chrome Nails At Home.

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