It seems like you just paid for that manicure and pedicure and the polish is already chipping or flaking. Our hands go through a lot during the day (makeup application, typing on keyboards, washing dishes, and so on), and poor manicures don’t stand a chance. Luckily, there are little known tricks to making your nail polish last longer — besides just applying top coat every two days like:


  • Shape up. To maximize nail strength, tips should be rounded and corners left somewhat square. File your nails into a shape that mirrors your cuticle’s, which makes them less likely to break.
  • Start clean. Use a cotton swab to wipe down your nails with white vinegar before applying basecoat. This removes any product build-up or natural oils on your nail beds that could create a barrier between the polish. Once your nails dry, apply basecoat.
  • Don’t soak nails before painting them. Manicurists do this to soften cuticles, but it causes nails to retain water and expand. Once they’re painted they’ll shrink, meaning your polish will no longer fit your nails.
  • Your polish will actually stick better to your nails if you prep them with a base coat first because it helps to even them out as well.
  • Polish should be applied in three narrow, even strokes — one down the centre and one down each side — and then be allowed to dry for two minutes before a second coat is applied. The thicker the layer is, the more difficult it is for the solvent — the liquid agent in enamel — to evaporate, boosting the chances that polish will peel.


  • Apply two coats of basecoat to the tips of your nails. Nail tips are more prone to chipping (see: typing, texting, etc.). Apply another layer of basecoat to the top half of your nails for extra polish resilience.
  • Once lacquer is on, seal it with a slow-setting topcoat. Quick-dry kinds are certainly appealing, but they evaporate so fast, they leave polish soft, mushy, and prone to denting. A slower-acting topcoat leaves a harder, more protective finish.
  • Make the most of metallic colours. Sure, light shades make chips less noticeable, but you can get an extra couple of days’ wear from a metallic polish
  • Avoid getting any polish on your cuticles, which lifts the paint from the nail and leads to chipping.
  • Don’t skip the “free edge” of your nails. Run the basecoat, paint, and topcoat around the edge to ensure your entire nail is sealed.

After applying your nail paint, care is utmost important as it actually determines the duration of your nail-paint. Following tips will prove to be helpful to maintain your manicure in its prime for longer:

  • Everything you touch wears away your polish. Every other day, apply a layer of quick-dry topcoat (it’s OK to use on already-dry polish) to form a protective shield and increase shine.
  • Use gloves: Washing dishes (or cleaning your apartment) without gloves on can completely destroy your manicure. The water and soap can dry out the manicure, making it less shiny and likely to chip. Get yourself a sturdy pair of rubber gloves to protect your nails from danger.
  • Filing is healthier than clipping, which can crack the nail plate. Use a fine-grit nail file and work in one direction. Filing back and forth with an abrasive board will cause the nail’s delicate keratin layers to peel away from each other.
  • Stay away from hand sanitizer: The alcohol in hand sanitizer can dry out your nails and polish, making them dull and ready to chip. Instead, go for a mild hand soap and warm water when possible.

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