How To Make Your Nail Polish Last Longer

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Sometimes the simplest of beauty routines requires the most know-how. I began polishing my nails at the age of 8. After 20 years of experience, I can tell you my methods are still evolving. As a self-proclaimed obsessed personal-manicurist, it took years for me to hone my skills. But I realize now that a steady-handed, perfect finish was not the secret to a long-lasting mani or pedi. In fact, it’s been in my most recent years that I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with my nail routine, consummately searching for long lasting nail polish will weather 10 days or more. Achieving a long-lasting manicure is an evolved balance of using the right products and techniques, that after years of developing, I’m happy to share in these seemingly simple few steps.

1. 3 strokes, 2 coats

Nothing will cause more difficulty for your manicure than putting too much product on your tips. Even when using a no-chip nail polish, you have to be careful about how you apply each coat. In addition, when polish ages, it thickens and can easily cause problems, leaving a gluey, uneven finish – so be mindful of how long to keep your nail polish in rotation. Make sure your polish still has a thin, fluid consistency and follow this simply ratio: 3 strokes – 2 coats. You should only apply 3 strokes to each nail per coat for a smooth, even finish. If a second coat isn’t necessary, you need not apply one. Remember, you’ll be adding a base coat and top coat to the final product, so keep the color polish as thin as possible to make your polish last longer.

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 Tip: If your favorite polish is beginning to thicken, add 2 or 3 drops of polish thinner to the formula. If your curious      about how long to keep your nail polish, Experts recommend storing it in a cool space, like your fridge, which will  increase
it’s shelf life.


2. Layer on a base coat first

It took me a while to begin using a base coat in an effort to keep the layers of polish to a minimum. Later on I learned that base coats serve 3 important purposes. First, they add nutrients to the naked nail rather than applying chemical laden color polish directly. Second, the properties in a base coat are made to help polish adhere better and make nail polish last longer than if applied without. Lastly, a base coat delivers a protective layer to your nail bed to prevent staining. Ever used a deep blue or green color and had to file the remnant color off later? Skip the harsh removal process by using a base coat and you’ll also reap the benefits of a healthier, happier manicure.


3. Discover a Fast Drying Top Coat

I have had a years-long reputation of doing my nails on the go after finding the best top-coat nail polish. Living in New York, bouncing between the office, appointments and parties, you sometimes have to get innovative with your beauty routine. There is 1 product that has allowed for this, cutting my dry-time to practically seconds so I don’t have to worry about smudging a meticulously prepared mani. That product is Seche Vite. This gel-like clear finish dries rock hard in under a minute, and the best top-coat nail polish I have tested. I am constantly asked where I get my gel mani done, since the finished product looks like I just stepped out of a salon. There are a number of fast-drying top coats now on the market, however they can easily add weight to your manicure so be cautious of their “chipping-point”, especially if your nails are light or brittle.


eveprow klaq4. Honor & Protect Your Cuticles

I admire women with beautiful nail beds and perfectly manicured cuticles. I, unfortunately, have an ongoing battle with mine. Due to excessively dry hands in addition to the fact that I have over-clipped my cuticles for years, I’m constantly taking care of them. My manicurist has advised me that once we begin over-treating our cuticles, they develop their own scar tissue and grow back thicker. Instead of clipping cuticles, use a traditional cuticle pusher, like Tweezerman’s stainless steel pusher and cleaner. Limit clipping to an as-needed basis. Pick up a cuticle formula to help dissolve away dead skin. Also, use nail oils regularly to maintain the health and moisture of your hands so you can avoid cutting all together.


 5. Clean Up Like A Pro

Despite years of experience and a steady hand, we can all paint outside the lines. While a good file is useful in a pinch, the best way to clean up your edges is with a light makeup brush. Simply dip a lip or shadow brush in polish remover and carefully wipe around the edges of your cuticle to remove any remnants of color and leave you with a beautiful finish.



6. Opt for Safer Polishes

Nail polish has always had a reputation for being laden with chemicals. As of recent, quick drying, long lasting nail polishes have been especially discriminated against because of their potentially harmful ingredients as well as the propensity for over-drying nails, leading to dry, split nailbeds. Some leading brands have gained popularity by offering formulas that are free of the top 3 most concerning ingredients: formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Check out brands like Essie and Butter London which are readily available in most beauty stores and offer a variety of beautifully curated, well-loved colors.

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7. DIY Gel Polish

When I can’t get to the salon for a long-lasting manicure, professionally administered gel polish treatment, I do my own. In the last year or so, companies have begun releasing at-home gel polish kits that offer no-chip polish benefits. These real-deal, long lasting nail polishes look fresh for 7 to 10 days or longer. For me, a typical polish lasts just a few days so these formulas are especially useful for my needs. Check out the collection from Red Carpet ( which includes it’s own LED polish curing machine in addition to everything you will need for the treatment: primer, base coat, color gel polish, top coat, cuticle oil, cleanser, remover and tools, all for just about $80. Additional colors are available for purchase for just $10 making this one of the most complete, and affordable options on the market for long lasting nail polish. In addition, you can also use your own traditional polish with a gel polish top coat, cured under the LED light for a decidedly longer lasting manicure than usual.


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Prepared by: Marissa O’Brien
Beauty insider & editor


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