As someone who weighs the worthiness of a beauty treatment based on its longevity, salon manicures are at times, hard to justify.
Depending on how you treat your nails, a non-gel manicure could chip within a matter of days or seconds if you’re accident-prone. Pending life in a protective bubble, the reality is, everyday activities have the potential to damage your nails and your typical manicure will last you a week if you’re lucky.
At the end of the day, polish isn’t meant to last forever and that’s probably for the best. However, you can save a good chunk of change and time by knowing how to maximize the life of your manicure with these tips and tricks.
1. Apply isopropyl alcohol
Your nail technician will typically do this before they start painting your nails and if they don’t, you need to reconsider how knowledgeable they are. This important step will clean off any dirt or oil that will prevent polish from adhering to your nails.
You can also use white vinegar and nail polish remover as an alternative to isopropyl alcohol.
2. Cuticle care
This is an important step for ensuring your manicure lasts as long as possible. Make sure to push back and remove cuticles before you start the painting process.
When you’re satisfied with your work, use a Q-tip or a brush to remove any excess polish you accidentally got on your skin.
3. Buff your nails
If you run your fingers over your nails, you’ll notice little ridges on the surface of your nails. Some of us have more prominent ridges than others and it’s these culprits that cause polish to crack.
The trick to a longer-lasting application is buffing your nails until you have a smooth surface to work with. For best results, buff in one direction rather than haphazardly all over.
4. Use the same brand of products
If you want your products to perform to their highest potential, keep it in the family. Brands test their products together so if you use a base coat from one brand and a polish from a different brand, they may not jive as well.
When it comes to gel and shellac manicures, the same rule applies. The curing lamp should be the same brand as the polish for maximum results.
5. Topcoat is your best friend
If you exclusively get your nails done at a salon, you may not think it necessary to purchase a bottle of topcoat. Wrong!
Applying a thin layer of topcoat everyday will prolong the life your manicure by keeping your nails strong and protected. A daily dose of a nail treatment like Nail Tek Intensive Therapy will also do wonders for keeping your manicure alive.
6. Cap nail tips
Nail technicians are pretty good at capping the most damage-prone part of your nail but it’s a step that’s often forgotten when DIY’ing. Since we’re always texting or tapping away on keyboards, it’s the tip of the nail that needs the most protection and care.
You can protect the tip by applying a horizontal swipe of polish over the edge.
7. Glitter polish
Good thing glitter is in because using glitter polish will in and of itself last longer than regular polish. It tends to have a better grip on your nails but in turn tends to be harder to remove. Here's some tips on how to get that glitter polish off easily.
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