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How To Maintain Your Manicure Or Pedicure

Updated on July 3, 2013

Keeping That Manicure or Pedicure Perfect!

There are many reasons why you might want your manicure or pedicure to last longer. You might be travelling and don't want to take polishes, polish remover or other supplies, for example. Your week may be busy with work or maybe you have a lot on your social calender. Whatever the reason you can't schedule it in to refresh your mani or pedi, never fear - there are some tips that you can follow which will maintain your nail polish for longer.

For those that like to do nail art, you might want to show off that perfect design for longer - it's also especially displeasing for chipping to ruin your nails if you spent a long time getting them to perfection!

If you get your nails done professionally, you may want to take your own polish. Some salons have been known to thin their polishes which, whilst leaves them with a good consistency despite sitting possibly untouched on shelves, means that they may be more prone to chipping or peeling.

Nail buffing
Nail buffing | Source

Step One - Prepare the nail tips

The first step to getting your manicure to last longer is to prepare your nails for it. The chipping or cracking of nail polish tends to happen at the tips of the nails - this is where the nail is bending slightly. In order to prevent this from happening, it is best to cut your nails short. Even when wearing false nails this wear-and-tear can happen at the ends of the nails, but this happens more especially if your nails are longer and damaged by common activities such as typing or washing dishes. If you have a particular need for your nail polish or design to last longer, you might want to consider cutting your nails or wearing shorter falsies.

Snags, splits or other imperfections in the nail tip can also cause bending of the nails and chipping of the nail polish. In order to avoid this from happening, shape your nails and file them smooth so that they are less likely to get caught on anything.

Now That The Nail Is Prepped!

Time to move on to painting the nail. Some of the next steps are to be followed very quickly, so take time to read first!

Step Two - Prepare The Rest Of The Nail

Another reason why nail polish can chip is due to your nails flaking. If you experience layers of your nails flaking off, this could be a culprit in why your manicure doesn't last as long as it could. In order to avoid this, you can use a buffer on your nails in order to smooth them down and create a smoother base for the polish to be applied to.

If you find that your nail polish tends to chip at the cuticle, you should groom the cuticles to avoid this from happening. By pushing back the cuticle gently (you can use oil) - never cutting the cuticle as this is unhealthy - they should not interfere with your manicure or pedicure.

Many people like to use a base coat on their nails in order to give them something to stick to - this can assist in prolonging a manicure. If you don't have a base coat, you can try using your top coat in its place. Whether or not you use a base coat, you will need to remove any oil or moisture that might be on your nails so that the polish can grip to them. There are nail cleansers on the market that help to achieve this quickly and effectively, although you can also do this by washing your hands and nails thoroughly with soap and water - ensure that the nails and nail beds are thoroughly dry before applying polish.

Step Three - Paint The Edge Of The Nail

Polish the very end of your nail - the free edge that experiencing clipping, cutting or filing. This will help to seal off the nail and prevent chipping. Not only is this beneficial for prolonging the life of your manicure or pedicure, but it also gives a neat finish. Move quickly to step four.

See how the edge of the nail has been painted?
See how the edge of the nail has been painted? | Source

Step Four - Paint The Tip Of The Nail

Using a thin layer of polish, paint horizontally across the tip of the nail in a swift, fluid motion. This will not only cover up any brush strokes that painting the edge may have created but will also mean that you are applying more polish where your nail needs the most protection. It is imperative that a thin layer of polish is used as you will quickly move to step five where more polish will be applied over this wet layer. Move immediately to step five once the polish has been painted to the tip of the nail.

Step Five - Paint The Whole Of The Nail

Again, using a thin layer of nail polish, paint the nail vertically from top to bottom in only one or two strokes. Any imperfections such as wobbly lines near the edges of the nails or missed spots at the cuticle can be rectified in further coats - do not try to rectify these things yet as the nail will become too thickly coated in polish. Repeat these steps on all of your nails and then leave to dry completely before moving on.

Step Six - Repeat!

Add further thin layers of polish, leaving them to dry completely before applying another coat. The amount of coats that you will need will be dependent on the nail polish and can vary. Many coats of thinly applied nail polish tends to be much more successful than applying few coats of thickly applied polish. Once your nails are painted to your liking, you can add any nail art as desired before moving on. Ensure that the nails are completely dry before step five.

Toe nail art pedicure
Toe nail art pedicure | Source

Step Eight - Maintain

Each day - or every other day - after you have done your manicure or pedicure, add another layer of top coat. This will help to keep the polish protected and your nails looking good.

If you can, you may choose to use a very small nail art brush to touch up imperfections in the nails. Alternatively, nail art supplies such as stickers or rhinestones can be good cover-up devices! Apply top coat over anything you may add to your nails.

If you really want to prolong your nails, avoid any heat for twelve hours after painting them as this can interfere with the polish and damage the manicure or pedicure.

You can also keep your hands in good condition by using nail or cuticle oil and/or hand moisturisers. This will keep the area surrounding the nails tidy and keep peeling skin and imperfections at bay.

Step Seven - Apply Top Coat

Do not shake top coat as it is likely to form bubbles when you paint.

For applying top coat you can either use the same motions as with applying polish. Alternatively, you can paint the whole nail first - as in step five - and then dab the top coat around the edge and tip of the nail to seal it off. You may want to practice with these different ways of applying the top coat to give you the best coverage at the tips.

Did You Know?

Many people find that following the tip that you should paint the free edge of the nail is all that it takes to make their manicures or pedicures longer-lasting! Others also say the same for buffing!

Enjoy Your Nails!

Following these tips should keep your nails looking perfectly polished for longer. Many people find that they can use nail polishes of any quality and do not have to change their daily routines in order to get long-lasting nails - they just have to take good care of them and to prepare and paint them in a way that gives them the most protection.

How Did It Go?

Did Your Nail Polish Last Longer After Following These Tips?

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