how to get your nail polish to last longer

How to get your nail polish to last longer

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Nail polish is the go-to nail product for most people, young and old. Many people prefer doing their nails with nail polish instead of getting a gel or acrylic manicure done at a salon. I loved doing my nails with nail polish but always struggled with making it last longer than a couple of days without chipping.

Just like with any other nail coverage product some key things will influence how long your nails last. Things like proper nail prep, using the right products, polish thickness, and external factors will determine how long you can keep your nail polish looking fabulous.

1. Prep your nails before applying nail polish

Just like with applying any type of nail product, prepping your nails beforehand is very important. Most products don’t adhere well to oily surfaces, and your nails are covered in natural oils. Having a bit of texture on your nails will also help the product to adhere to the surface of your nails properly. Something that will also cause the nail polish to start to lift is skin. So if you have overgrown cuticles or dead skin on your nails, the polish will lift soon after application.

To prep the nails properly you will need the following products:

  • A cuticle pusher.
  • Nail file.
  • Cuticle remover.
  • Alcohol pads.

push back your cuticles

To properly prep your nails, start by carefully pushing back your cuticles using the cuticle pusher. Apply a little bit of the cuticle remover to your cuticles. Leave it for a couple of seconds(listed on the bottle), and carefully use your cuticle pusher to remove the dead skin from the cuticle and nail plate. Once you’re done wipe the nails clean with an alcohol pad.

Lightly buff your nails using the nail file to remove the shine from your nail plate. File your nails so that they are even in shape and length. Finally, wipe your nails with an alcohol pad to remove any dust particles.

2. Use a base coat

Before applying nail polish, it is very important to use a high-quality base nail polish on your nails. This will not only create a barrier between your natural nail and the colour nail polish, which will protect your nails from discolouration when using high pigmented colours. But it will also create the perfect foundation for nail polish. The polish will be able to adhere to the base better than to the natural nail which will prevent it from chipping easily.

3. Use high quality nail polish

Application is very important. You have to refrain from painting close to the skin and touching the cuticle or sidewall areas. Once the product touches the skin it will start to lift and peel due to the oil present in your skin. If you accidentally touch the skin when applying the nail polis, simply use a q-tip or the back of the cuticle pusher with some nail polish remover to clean the areas before it dries. 

You also have to apply very thin coats of nail polis and make sure every coat is completely dry before applying the next. If you apply it too thickly or apply new coats when it is still wet, the polish will take longer to dry and will bubble, chip, and peel easily. Use a nail dryer to speed up the drying process. Be cautious as some nail polishes are “touch dry” but that does not mean they are completely cured. It is also very important to seal the nail by polishing it over the free edge of the nail. This will prevent the polish from chipping as well.

Use a strong clear topcoat

Topcoats are designed to protect the polish underneath. This polish will not only protect your nail polish from cracks and stains but will make the design last a lot longer by adding a hardened layer on top of the product.

4. Take care of your manicure

This is almost the most important part of having long-lasting nail polish. You have to take care of it. This means:

  •  protecting your hands from extreme water exposure
  • wearing gloves when using chemicals
  • not picking at your nails and fixing chips and scratches as soon as you see them
  • moisturizing your hands and nails regularly and taking care of your cuticles


It is important to remember that nail polish wasn’t designed to last for weeks upon weeks. It is the softest coverage you can apply to your nails. If you have an active lifestyle and need something durable, it would be a good idea to lean towards gel or acrylic manicures rather than nail polish.

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