Comstock Images/Getty ImagesRead on for tricks on how to nix nicks, and keep your perfect polish job for a week and a half!
If you go to a salon, consider bringing your own bottle of polish. Nail salons notoriously add thinners to extend the life of old enamel, which can change the color and cause bubbling and peeling, says Jane Park, creator of Julep Nail Parlors in Seattle.
2. Dehydrate the Nail
"If there is residue [moisturizer, oil, water, etc.] on your nails, it will prevent polish from adhering," says Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Cosmetics. Before polishing, wipe nails with lint-free cotton pads and an acetone-based cleanser.
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3. Seal the "Free" Edge
"The base coat, nail polish, and top coat should be applied across the free edge - that is, the part of the nail that's been clipped or filed," Park says. This quick trick alone can help double the life of your mani, protecting your nails from water damage that will cause polish to chip.
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4. Avoid Heat for 12 Hours Later
While it might feel dry to the touch, your polish can take up to 12 hours to fully harden and "cure," Park says. Heat can interfere with the curing process, so hold off on washing your hands with hot water and blowing on your nails (your breath is warm), and steer clear of hot yoga, saunas, and hot tubs.
5. Oil Your Nails Daily
Nail and cuticle oil is the fastest way to get much-needed moisture into your nail bed, preventing peeling and splitting. Unliketraditional lotions and moisturizers, nail oils are formulated with ingredients such as vitamin E and jojoba oil that can penetrate deep into the nail, beyond the layers of polish. Plus, perfumes and alcohol in many hand lotions can actually dry out your cuticles and crack your polish, Park says. Try: an oil like Julep Essential Cuticle Oil, $9, twice daily.
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By Krista Bennett DeMaio
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