Like most people in the world, I don’t get the chance to touch up my nail polish every day. I also volunteer all week at an art program, getting my hands covered in paint, clay, and plain old dirt. My nails need to stand up to constant abuse from all this work, and the vigorous scrubbing I give them when I get home (it takes a lot of elbow grease to get acrylic paint of your hands sometimes). Luckily, I found the absolute best way to get my nail polish to last for a week, most of the time two. Here are my best tips.
How to Make Nail Polish Last: Use a Base Coat
A base coat is a coat of clear nail polish that goes on the nail first, before any color is involved whatsoever. Technically, it is supposed to protect the natural nail from getting dyed by the polish. It may seem like a complete waste of time, but it is not. I once died my nails blue for three month because I didn’t wear a base coat.
It also makes nail polish last a lot longer. Base coats about double the life of a polish, to be honest. And it does not matter what the brand of colored polish is. It seems like common sense that a more expensive brand of polish would be able to last without a base coat. But even my Essie nail polish (in Penny Talk) didn’t last nearly as long without a base coat. It chipped right off after about two hours.
Mow to Make Nail Polish Last: What Base Coat To Use
Lost of nail polish brands make clear nail polish specifically designed to be base coats. They claim that these nail polishes will make nails healthier and stronger than normal clear nail polishes would. Then they charge three times the price.
Frankly, I see this as a load of hooey.
The best base coat I’ve ever used was Wet nWild’s clear nail polish. It has a thicker consistency than most “base coats” out there. The thickness does make it hard to get out of the bottle, when it is almost used up, but I think this makes the colored polish you put on top last longer. The thickness gives the colored polish something to grab on to. It also dries very quickly, which is nice. I’m an impatient person.
The best part is, it’s only $0.99! Which is great, because it also doubles as a top coat.
How to Make Nail Polish Last: Use a Top Coat
Think of your nails like a little nail polish sandwich. With a base coat to grab onto, and a top coat to protect, your nail color is going absolutely nowhere, trust me. If you do any kind of fancy design on your nail, put a top coat down. It helps the different polishes stick to each other which causes less chipping. I’ve also read were people just touch up their clear nail polish to make their manicure last longer. I’ve tried this technique once, when I did a very intricate design on my nails, but mostly I just forget. Besides, just taking the time to put on a base coat and top coat makes my polish last for about two weeks. After those two weeks I usually want to change my nail color.
How to Make Nail Polish Last: Think About Thickness
Try to make your manicure as thin as possible. If you get full opacity after one coat, don’t put on a second coat! Think, if you follow the tips above and use a bottom and top coat as well, your nails will already have three layers of polish on them. The more layers, the more polish builds above the nail. When this happens, the edges of the nail polish can snag and cause chipping.
This same logic applies to fancy nail designs as well. My fancy Pinterest manicures never last as long as a simple solid coat.
The pictures posted are of my manicure after using these tips! The colored polish is Essie’s Fruit Sangria. This picture was taken ten days after I had painted my nails. Hope these tips are useful.