How to Keep Your Nail Polish on Longer

by Kimberly Caines

Well-groomed fingernails are essential if you want to make a good impression. The right shade of nail polish can enhance the way your hands and fingers look. However, improperly applying nail polish can cause it to chip prematurely. Because getting professional manicures can get costly, give yourself a manicure. To make your nail polish last, you must create a proper base for it to adhere to, use the correct application technique, and the correct products.

Items you will need

  • Toothbrush or nailbrush
  • Water
  • Hand soap
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail file
  • Base coat
  • Top coat
  • Cuticle oil
Step 1

Clean your nails with a clean toothbrush or nail brush, water and mild hand soap. Brush underneath and over the nails with a sawing motion to remove any oil and product residue.

Step 2

Swipe a cotton ball saturated with an acetone-based nail polish remover over your nails. The remover eliminates all moisture from the nails.

Step 3

Shape your nails with a nail file. Move the file in one direction over the edge of the nail. File from one side to the other, lift up the file and bring it back to the beginning filing point. Avoid making a back-and-forth motion because this may split the nails and cause your nail polish to chip.

Step 4

Apply one layer of base coat to your nails. Apply the coat over your entire nail surface, along the edge of the nail and underneath the nail. Wait at least three minutes so the base coat can dry. Base coat adheres better to your nails than nail polish does, and it creates a base for your nail polish to adhere to.

Step 5

Polish your nails with one layer of color. Apply the color in three strokes over the nail surface; one swipe in the middle, one on the left side of the nail and one on the right side. Swipe the polish along the edge of the nail and below the nail. Wait five minutes to allow the polish to dry.

Step 6

Apply a second coat of nail polish in a similar fashion.

Step 7

Seal your nail polish with a layer of top coat, over and under the nail and along the edge of the nail. Wait half an hour to allow your polish to dry. Avoid heat from hot water, saunas or from blowing on your nails for 12 hours because heat softens your polish and causes it to smudge.

Step 8

Apply a second layer of top coat 24 hours later for extra protection of your nail polish.

Step 9

Moisturize your cuticles with cuticle oil every other day. Massage the oil into your cuticles to keep them soft and to prevent drying. Dry cuticles can cause your nail polish to chip prematurely.

Warnings

  • Avoid soaking your fingernails before filing them. The water swells up your nails and when they shrink back to their normal size, your polish may split, peel or chip in the process.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images