How To Make Your Manicure Last Longer

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Taking time out of your busy schedule to give yourself an at-home mani is difficult but watching all your hard work chip away just days later is much worse. To save you the frustration, we’re sharing the best tricks for making your paint job last longer than ever. Now you can be proud of your masterpiece for longer.

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Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Don't Soak Your Nails

Soaking your nails in warm water to soften your cuticles might seem like the obvious first step, but it actually ruins your mani before it even begins. Your nails are like a sponge; they expand when soaked in water and then shrink when they dry, which can cause polish to crack. Instead, try a cuticle remover to make the removal process easier without dooming your mani.

Deborah Lippmann, Cuticle Remover With Lanolin, $20, available at Nordstrom.

Photo courtesy of Sephora

Use Nail Polish Remover

Even if you didn’t previously have nail polish on your nails, use nail polish remover to wipe off any excess oils, moisturizer or residue. The surface of your nails must be clean in order for your polish to really adhere to it.

Formula X, Delete All 5 Finger Nail Polish Remover, $15, available at Sephora.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Don't Shake Your Nail Polish

Instead of shaking your polish, roll it between your hands to mix pigments with our creating excess air bubbles. Air bubbles don't just make your nails look messy but they make your polish chip faster.

Essie, Nail Polish in 'Clam Bake,' $9, available at Nordstrom.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Always Use The Base And Top Coats

They exist for a reason. Painting a single coat of polish onto your nails before you run out the door is fine when you’re in a pinch, but don't expect it to go the distance. Always start your paint job with a base coat and finish with a topcoat to seal it all in.

Chanel, La Base Protective And Smoothing, $28, available at NordstromChanel, Le Top Coat Quick Dry And Shine, $28, available at Nordstrom.

Photo courtesy of JCPenney

Let It Dry Completely

Your manicure may seem ready, but believe it or not nail polish can take up to 12 hours to harden and dry completely. This is the window of time is when you need to be the most careful so try not to apply greasy lotions, scratch rough surfaces, fall asleep with your hands wrapped in a blanket or wash dishes.

Morgan Taylor, Accelerate Quick Dry Nail Spray, $34, available at JCPenney.