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  • By Kimberly Caines

How to Make Your Nail Polish Last!

Hi BFFs, it's Kimberly with some useful tips to share! If you are sick and tired of your nail polish constantly chipping, maybe it's time to figure out what you are doing wrong. Although I am a total pamper queen, I don't always have time to get my nails done at a salon, so I often do them myself right at home. Early on, I noticed that my polish would chip really fast, making my nails look terrible. This is when I started doing extensive research to figure out how to make my polish last longer. Here are some of tips that helped me. You might know some of them already, but I'm sure there's one or two that are new to you.

1. GIRL, STOP IT! Stop chomping on your nails and control yourself! If you bite your nails, you and you alone are the reason your nails look the way they do. If you really feel like chewing on something, chew on some sugar free gum. It'll keep your mouth busy and it's difficult to chew on gum and nails simultaneously.

2. Dirty nails are a no-no on ALL levels! Clean your nails thoroughly before applying polish. Use a nail brush and cool running water to clean underneath your nails. Remove any traces of old polish and swipe each nail with a lint-free cotton pad moistened with nail polish remover or white vinegar. This helps to eliminate and dirt and oil from the surface of your nails and dehydrates them, which in this case is a good thing. (Kim Tip: Even if you start off with bare nails, still swipe some remover over them, because you might not be able to see the oil, dust and dirt on them)

3. Skip the soak. Nail salons always pamper customers by soaking their nails. Soaking really doesn't do anything, but maybe ensure the nail technician that you will be back again soon. See, when you soak your fingers your nails expand and swell. Then, after a while, when the polish is applied, your nails shrink back to their normal size. This causes your manicure to crack, peel and chip prematurely. When doing your own manicure at home, skip the soak, so your polish will last longer.

4. Short nails vs. long nails. Short nails are less likely to chip compared to long nails. (That's not really a secret right...) When you file your nails to shorten them, avoid dragging the file back and forth, make sure the filing motion goes in one direction. Filing back and forth makes the nail more likely to chip or break. Avoid using scissors to clip nails, because this can easily cause damage to the nail bed.

5. Soften it up... Your cuticles that is. Rather than pushing back dry cuticles, rub a softening cream into them. Then, use an orange wood stick to gently push them back. If you do this one time really good, you won't have to do it very often in future.

6. It's all about the base, 'bout the base... The base coat keeps the polish from staining your nails and helps the polish adhere better. After your polish has dried, make sure to apply a top coat for added protection and shine. If you're short on time, use a nail polish with the base and/or top coat already built in.

7. Thin is in when it comes to nail polish! Apply a thin layer of polish in three strokes, one in the center of the nail bed, one to the left, and one to the right. Although it's tempting to apply a thick blob of polish to your nails, thick polish is more likely to chip than a thin layer. Also, before sweeping the polish brush over your nails, swipe it on the bottle opening to get rid of any excess.

8. Cover the edge of your nails too. Rather than just applying polish to the nail surface, also run your brush along the edge of your nail to seal the polish. Do this with your base coat, polish and top coat. This one was new to me and my nails look so much better now.

9. Be patient! Give your nail polish plenty of time to dry in between layers. Not waiting long enough before applying a second coat can result in a sticky mess. (I know you know what I mean) To speed up drying, consider using a fast-drying nail polish or a drying oil or spray.

10. Protect your 'work of art' by sweeping a layer of top coat over it every other day and regularly massage some cuticle/nail oil onto your nails to prevent drying and to keep your manicure looking good.

11. Keep your nails cool and away from heat. Hot water, saunas and even blowing on your nails are all no-no's. Your nails might seem dry, but heat can soften the polish and trigger smudges. Give your nails at least 12 hours to fully harden and dry.

12. If you're really worried about chips, use a natural nail polish color. Chips are less visible if you're wearing a polish that's of a natural shade.

13. Store your nail polish bottles in a cool, dark place. When stored correctly, and with a little bit of luck, they might just last for an entire year!

14. Take a break from polish from time to time. Unlike your skin, nails don't really need oxygen. Just like hair they're made of keratin protein. However, it's good to give them a break from polish every now and then. Constant polish can discolor your nails and leaving polish on them for a long time can trigger white spots to form. To grow out discoloration and to 'start fresh' give your nails a break.

15. Eat healthy for healthy nails! In addition to what you put on your nails, what you put in your body, greatly influences the appearance and health of your nails. Fingernails only grow approximately 3.5 millimeters (a 10th of an inch) a month, and toe nails grow about 1.6 milliliters a month, so be nice to them. Eating a balanced diet, rich in vitamins, antioxidants, veggies, fruits, protein and healthy oils and fats can make a big difference.

There you have it. Some tips to help make your nails look pretty longer! If you do take time to go to a salon to get your nails done, bring your own polish, because salons often add thinners to their polishes to make them last longer. These thinners reduce the length of your manicure, because they promote peeling and bubbling.

Of course I must also say that the brand of nail polish you use might also be a factor why your polish isn't lasting. Sometimes investing in a more expensive high-end polish might be worth it, although I find that many drugstore polishes can be just as good.

Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. No need to ever be shy when visiting!

#nailpolish #howtonails

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