Chip Free Manicure
While we crave to have a magazine worthy and beautifully applied manicure, the reality is that we have to deal with some bumps along the road, like chipping, breakage and air bubbles. It's probably happened to you many times before; you take so much care and time to apply your base, polish and top coat, only for it to end up with a smudge or chip almost immediately afterwards. You end up feeling like you wasted your time, making you extremely frustrated.
Then there's gel manicures, which seemed like the perfect solution to never getting a chip or smudge again, but it's such a hassle to remove (pure acetone can be irritating to your skin, nails and lungs). You may even cycle between traditional and gel polishes, trying to find the right way to make your manicure last. Don't worry, there's still hope. While it may seem like an impossible task to achieve that perfect look without having to go to a salon, here are some professionally tested tips you can follow to make your traditional polish last longer and look better than ever!
Prepping Your Nails
First of all, you need to clip and file your nails to whichever shape you prefer. An important tip to remember is to file your nails in ONE direction only, not back and forth like some people like to do (it leads to nail tip breakage, making them jagged). Another way to prevent breaking is to file them mirroring the same shape as your cuticles. Secondly, moisturize your nails and cuticles with a nail oil to keep your nails healthy before applying any polish. I suggest oil because creams can have scents and chemicals that can cause your polish to crack. Thirdly, clean your nails with non acetone remover or white vinegar to get rid of any oil, dust or product you may still have (do this step even if you don't have polish to remove).
Applying Base, Polish and Top Coat
A new polish application technique you need to start using immediately is to always apply base, color and top polish on the 'free edge' of your nails (at the top and bottom of the tip of your nail where you clipped them). This ensures that every coat you apply will be protected at the nails' most vulnerable area for chipping. Luckily for all of us, sticky base coats that improve polish adhesion for a longer manicure, now exist. These are great because they actually work and most bottles run for less than $10, making it a necessary investment. After applying your sticky base coat, apply a thin, sheer first coat of color to your nails and wait 2 minutes before applying your second coat. The less polish you use, the less likely it'll chip! Apply your top coat while the nail color is still a bit wet, so it can adhere better. I like to apply a second coat of top coat just over my 'free edge' horizontally to finish. This helps protect my nails even more from chipping at the tips.
Avoid Doing Any Of The Following:
-DO NOT wet or soak your nails before or after applying polish! Water gets soaked up by the nails, making them expand and crack your polish when it regains its original shape. Avoid hot water for at least 12 hours after finishing your manicure, since the heat will also make your polish chip and not set properly. Use gloves to wash your dishes to prevent chipping, as well.
-DO NOT file your nail bed to prepare your nails for your base coat, this will just damage your nails; use a sticky base coat instead to get the same result without making your nails brittle and weak.
-DO NOT shake your polish bottles up and down, this just creates air bubbles, which then leads to quicker chipping. Instead, roll your bottles between the palms of your hands to warm and mix your color evenly, before application.
-DO NOT leave any polish on your cuticles, this will only give the polish room to get raised and peel off or chip faster. Push your cuticles back before applying any polish and fix any mistakes quickly with a Q-tip to make your manicure look spotless.
Remember To Follow These Extra Tips:
-DO apply glitter to the tips of your nails when they're chipped to make your manicure last longer.
-DO file your nails down to wherever they're chipped and apply a top coat to seal them in.
-DO make sure your nail polish products are all the same kind. For example, you shouldn't use a B3F base coat (polish that is free of Formaldehyde, DBP & Toluene) with a regular, non B3F color polish or top coat. This will just make your products interfere with each other, so make sure your base, polish and top coat are all the same kind.
-DO apply a thin layer of top coat over your nails every two days, to help prevent chipping.
-DO use a moisturizing oil, like ISA Professional's EVAO (Extra Virgin Argan Oil) everyday on your nails to prevent breakage; it makes nails stronger, helping your manicure last longer on your healthier nails. The oil seeps through your polish, giving your nails and cuticles the care and hydration they need. It's a multi-tasker because you can also use it on your face, neck and hair, but best of all, it has no harsh ingredients that can damage your nails; it's 100% pure and unscented, just a natural light nutty aroma from the argan nuts. Try it out and let me know if EVAO is part of your HG beauty products, as well!