How to Make Nail Polish Last Longer

It’s very rare that I ever go without nail polish on my nails. Besides the special occasion for my wedding, I can’t remember the last time I went to a salon. Doing my nails myself is something I’ve always enjoyed. I starting practicing painting when I was very young and have only improved my skills and routine since. Every week I spend about an hour and a half manicuring and painting my nails, and there’s nothing worse than having the polish chip after only a day or two of wear. Thankfully, I have many tricks for keeping nail polish in place for an entire seven days.

Obviously the first step is to make sure to apply a base coat and a top coat. A base coat is meant to protect the nail, as well provide something for the polish to adhere to. A top coat is meant to protect the nail color. Skipping a top coat is like baking a cake with no icing, it’s just wrong.

Essie’s First Base base coat is definitely my favorite, although I have yet to find the perfect top coat. Essie’s Gel Setter and the Seche Vite are both pretty good, but they’re not perfect.
My biggest, and maybe the most effective, trick is to wipe the nails with a little bit of nail polish remover before applying nail polish. I know it sounds like the opposite of what you’re supposed to do, but it actually works! I just dip a q-tip into the nail polish remover and do a quick swipe on each nail. It dries in seconds and then you’re ready to paint. Doing this will help remove all the oil off of the nail in order for the polish to adhere better.
Once the nails are painted, whether it’s done at home or in a salon, it’s important to take care of the manicure and your hands. You should apply a hand lotion whenever you can in order to keep the skin soft and healthy. I apply mine at night, but if you have dry skin it may need to be applied more often throughout the day. Cuticle oil is also important in keeping the skin around the nails soft. Any dry skin around the nails will distract from the manicure, so keeping that maintained is just as important.
Throughout the time the nails are painted, it’s always a good idea to keep a set of rubber gloves handy. Whether they need to be worn for washing dishes or cleaning the house, rubber gloves will protect the nails from warm water and chemicals that would otherwise break down the polish.

While the base coat, top coat, and nail polish remover hack are definitely the most important in the application process, the self care steps with lotion and cuticle oil are just as essential in prolonging the wear of your nail polish.

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What are some of your tricks for making nail polish last longer?
XO ♥ Christina ♥

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  1. So many amazing tips Christina! I love painting my nails and find it so therapeutic. I almost never get a manicure. I will admit, last year I went way too many days with unpainted nails because I was just too busy to sit down and paint my nails. But, I love your tips. I'm so shocked about the applying remover on your nail first. It makes sense though and I'm definitely going to try it. And yes yes yes to rubber gloves. Doing dishes will strip your nails off so quickly!!

    1. I totally know what you mean about being busy! I have to purposefully set aside time for manicures every week. There's no shame in rocking natural nails for a little while, though! I do that every now and then just to give my nails a chance to breathe. Definitely let me know how the acetone trick works for you, it's made a huge difference for me!

  2. Great tips. My nails are always painted and I swear by a good base and top coat.

    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! What are your favorite base and top coats?

  3. Thanks for these tips! I never realised that nail polish requires so much effort like cuticle oil and hand lotion 😅

    Taiwo |

    1. Thank you for reading! I'm so happy you found the post useful! Cuticle oil and hand lotion are great products to use even without nail polish. They make the hands look so much more nourished and healthy!


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