12 Tips to Make Your Regular Manicure Last

There's nothing quite like a fresh manicure.

But the downside of said manicure is how little time your new paint job stays chip and smudge-free. If you're like us and don't have the liberty to get our nails tended to weekly, we've put together some helpful tips to make your (non-gel) mani last.

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Wipe Your Nails Down With White Vinegar First

White vinegar removes any product buildup or natural oils on your nail beds that could create a barrier between the nail and the polish. Once your nails dry, apply base coat. 


Don't Soak Your Fingers in Water Before You Paint Them

You know how nail salons always have your soak your nails in water? They do this to soften the cuticle, but in the process it actually causes your nails to retain water and expand. Once your nails have fully dried, they shrink back slightly which makes the paint no longer fit perfectly on the nail, which can cause it to chip. If you're painting your nails at home, definitely skip this step and if you're at a salon as your manicurist to use oil instead of water.


Buff Your Nails Before You Paint

A flat canvas is important for a long lasting paint job. Even a small little dent can make your paint chip faster, so buffing your nails prior is key.


File Your Nails in a Shape That Mirrors Your Cuticles to Prevent Them From Breaking

This one can be a total game changer. If you find that your nails are always breaking when they reach a certain length, chances are your nails are in the wrong shape. The best shape for your nails is to mirror the shape of your cuticle. So if you have an oval-shaped cuticle, your nails should be filed into ovals instead of squares.

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Avoid Getting Polish on Cuticles

This one is sort of obvious, but avoid getting polish on your cuticles. The edge of the polish seals the coat and if the polish ends on top of the cuticle, it lifts the paint up and makes it chip faster.


Use a Sticky Base Coat

The stickier the base coat, the longer the paint lasts!


Don't Skip the Edge of Your Nails

Apply base coat to your nail bed, and also the edge of the tip of your nail to ensure your entire nail is sealed.


Apply an Extra Base Coat to the Tips of Your Nails

Nail tips are naturally more prone to chipping because you use your fingers like tools. Give your tips a little extra support by adding a second base coat to the mid nail and tips.

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Roll Your Polish Bottle Instead of Shaking It

It feels natural to shake your polish before using it—heck, even some of the directions say to shake before use. But shaking the polish can create air bubbles, which makes your nail polish more brittle. Instead, roll it between your hands to warm it up.


Re-Apply Clear Topcoat Every Two to Three Days

To keep your nails chip-free, reapply your base coat every two to three days.


Mask Chipped Tips With a French Tip

If you do happen to have a ton of chipped tips, the best solution is to use a contrasting color to paint French tips. Not only does it look super cute, it will give you a few more days of wear.

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Avoid Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer can have high concentrations of alcohol, which can ruin your top coat. Instead, opt for washing your hands with a mild cleanser.


Because you love getting manicures, you'll definitely relate to THESE seven annoying things that happen at the nail salon!