Yes, You Actually Can Make a Manicure Last. Here's How.

Photo: Getty Images Want to skip the chips and keep those nails looking presentable a week (or even longer) after you got your last manicure? It may sound like a recipe for disappointment, but getting that manicure to stay pretty and (nearly) perfect for days and days can be done. We swear.

To find out how, Yahoo Shine went straight to the experts, Jin Soon Choi, celebrity manicurist and founder of Jin Soon Nail Spas in New York City, and Nadine Abramcyk, founder of New York's tenoverten nail salons, to get tips on how to make that manicure last so long you'll be sick of that shade before you notice the first ding.

First thing's first. Clean those nails. “The cleaner the nail bed beforehand, the longer the polish will cling and last,” says Abramcyk. Choi agrees: “You want to look for the perfect astringent that will remove any trace of grime yet won’t dry out or strip nails,” says Choi.  Try vinegar, or rubbing alcohol (though it's a bit more drying than vinegar). is an easy at home tool for that — it cleans but doesn’t dry out the nail. And Abramcyk suggests cleansing with a a paper towel, not rather than the traditional cotton ball: “Those little strands always, always get snagged in the nail beds. A paper towel cleans much better.”

Go with a shiny base coat instead of a matte one. It acts like wet glue, explains Choi, bonding instantly to polish, whereas matte versions are less clingy.

Pick a metallic shade. “A glittery or shimmery polish just lasts longer,” says Abramcyk. Turns out those gleaming metal pigments that cream and sheer shades don't have literally create a tough, durable “shield” that helps prevents wear-and-tear. “They’re a pain to remove,” says Choi, “but they really last forever.”
If shimmer isn’t your thing, she advises picking a dark shade: “They have stronger color pigments to them that last longer than sheer pale ones.”

Chill your nail polish. Heat makes polish soft and goopy, both in the bottle and on the nail, so do everything you can to keep things cool.  “Cold weather is actually the best time to paint your nails,” says Choi. (Most of the country, you're in luck!) Chilly temps help to set each layer of base coat, color, and top coat firmly and quickly. A few other useful tips when it comes to using the cold your advantage: Store nail polish in the fridge, only paint on in a cool area — the colder the better — and gives nails a blast with your blow-dryer on cool mode for 60 seconds in between every coat of base, polish, and top coat.

Skip the shower. (Don't worry, just for the day.) Now that you’ve got those perfect nails, even if they seem, by all accounts, solid as a rock, pass on taking a hot shower or bath for the rest of the day, says Abramcyk. “The moisture and heat literally shrinks the fresh polish on your nail within the first day or so of getting them done.”

Topcoat tips every day. The number-one thing you can do, according to both experts, is seal your polish along the edge of nails with topcoat after your manicure. When was the last time you saw a chip in the middle of your nail bed. Exactly. It’s the tips that are the problem. And it's those tips you need to lacquer into submission. A quick swipe of polish  along the edges every day will keep them tough and dent-free.