If you want your nails to be in tip-top shape this summer (and all year round), these easy nail care tips will help extend the life of your manicure and keep your hands looking fabulous.
Short and Sweet
By trimming your nails regularly and keeping them on the short side, your nails are less likely to break or chip. You want them to be slightly past your fingertips, but no more than about 1/4 inch out. Any longer, and you risk frequent breaks.
A great manicure requires proper grooming so your tips are in top shape for polish application. To keep your cuticles looking great, apply a drop of cuticle oil before polishing. Never cut your cuticles; this will cause them to grow in thicker and become even more unmanageable. Overgrown cuticles can ruin a manicure and cause polish to peel.
You also want to make sure your nails are clean and dry before you apply your favorite polish. Swipe nail polish remover over each nail, and dry thoroughly. Any oils left on the nails will cause polish to chip in a few days.
Wait until you can devote a good amount of time to your manicure, because it is absolutely essential to apply a base coat. So many people skip this step, but honestly this is where most manicures make it or break it.
By applying a base coat first, you are giving colored polish something to adhere to. This will definitely extend your manicure, and is a critical part of the process.
Once you’ve groomed and prepped your nails, it’s time to apply polish! Even if you aren’t a nail pro, you can still have a good looking manicure. The key is in the application — apply polish in thin coats. Remove excess polish on the brush by wiping it on the side of the bottle first, and apply a thin line down the middle of your nail and one on each side.
Too thick, and you’ll get air bubbles and peeling.
Before applying a second coat, allow the first coat to dry completely. You want the first coat of polish to bond to your nail first before you apply a second layer.
Finally, apply a protective top coat when polish has dried. Do this every day to extend the life of your manicure and prevent chips and peeling. When washing dishes, wear rubber gloves to minimize exposure to water, and keep your showers to 10 minutes tops. The less water your nails are exposed to, the longer your manicure will last.
With the proper techniques and grooming, you can make your manicure last all week with little to no touch-ups needed. Following all of these steps is absolutely essential to the perfect manicure. Skipping even one step can mean the difference between a manicure that lasts and one that folds in two or three days.
Even a nail newbie can have a lasting manicure with these handy tips!