Making your D-I-Y manicure last longer, is mostly in the prep work.
My home manicures can last a week (longer if I don’t wash dishes) without chipping.
Here’s what I do:
- Clip & File Nails: A sharp ending to your nails ensures that the polish comes to a clean, aligned stopping point.
- Clean up Cuticles: Opposite of the nail edge, a clean cuticle line gives the polish a fresh place to start. The polish will go on much smoother there, without the interruption of dry cuticle particles. Use of a good cuticle remover should take off any of that whitish, paper-like remnant sitting on the nail bed.
- Soap & Alcohol: Cleanse hands/nails with warm, soapy water. A toothbrush aids in removing any debris left behind from filing & cuticle cleaning. Dry hands/nails, then (from cuticle to nail end) swipe each nail with rubbing alcohol. You can apply it with a cotton pad. The alcohol will dry & remove any remaining oils that prevent nail color from adhering properly.
- Base Coat: A good base coat is a must, as it grips & adheres the nail polish to your nails.
- Nail Lacquer: Salon quality polishes typically last longer than most “non salon” brands. Spending a couple more bucks usually goes a longer way in maintaining a freshly manicured look.
- Top Coat: Seal your manicure with a good top coat. It also adds an amazing shine to your nails.
- Technique: When applying all coats, be sure to pull the brush over the edge of each nail. Your finger tips may need some cleanup afterward, but this will ensure full coverage from cuticle to tip.
- Clean Up: Resist the urge to use a cotton ball to remove polish that has landed outside the nail bed. A thin nail brush, dipped in acetone, gives much better precision in cleaning those tiny crevices around the cuticle/skin. After each sweep in picking up excess polish, wipe the brush on a sheet of paper towel. Dip into acetone again to continue clean up.
Oh…and, stay away from those dishes!
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