As a beauty junkie who is a little over obsessed with nail polish, the number one question I’ve heard from my readers, friends and family over the years is: How can I make my manicure last longer? This question is followed by a number of complaints:

“my nails always chip”

“what’s the point in spending money on a manicure when it doesn’t last”?

“why bother investing the time in a manicure when the polish chips in 2 days?”

“I’m not spending an hour on nail art when it won’t last”.

Do these questions seem familiar?

I wanted to share with you my 9 tried and tested methods for helping my manicure last longer. While reading these tips and tricks, it’s important to note that everyone has a different biological and physiological makeup which can affect a number of things from nail strength to nail dryness. All these factors can impact the adherence of nail polish to the nail. There are so many habits we can incorporate into our daily routines to make our manicure last longer, even though our hormones and biological makeup can impact our nails.

1. Protect Your Hands (All The Time)

The number 1 way that I protect my manicure is also the easiest! Wear gloves. Wear them when you’re cleaning, and wear them when you’re doing dishes! The hot water and cleaning products affect the way nail polish adheres to your nails making it easy to chip. While the thought of wearing “old-school” yellow plastic cleaning gloves might fill you with dread (the latex kind of smells funny too am I right?)…invest in a pair of gloves that you really like. I’ve just discovered a really great company Full Circle Home, a sustainable lifestyle brand that makes the most stylish (and eco-friendly) cleaning, home and kitchen products.SPLASH PATROL, full circle home, cleaning gloves, cute cleaning gloves, how to prolong your manicure, how to make your manicure last longerI’m obsessed with these adorable Splash Patrol natural latex cleaning gloves that are super stylish and work really well to protect my manicure. They’re pretty cute right?SPLASH PATROL, full circle home, cleaning gloves, cute cleaning gloves, how to prolong your manicure, how to make your manicure last longerSPLASH PATROL, full circle home, cleaning gloves, cute cleaning gloves, how to prolong your manicure, how to make your manicure last longerWho says you have to be boring and wear those icky yellow cleaning gloves? Invest in a pair of gloves that you actually like and you’ll feel a little happier. You don’t need to break the bank either, these re-useable gloves are only $8.99.

2. Keep Your Nails (and Hands) Moisturized

You might think this is a given, but you would be suprised at how many people complain about their nail polish not lasting, yet they don’t keep their nails moisturized! Apply cuticle oil at least once a day. I keep a bottle on my bedside table and a little travel size oil in my purse. Some of my favourites include: CND Solar Oil and Formula X Quench. Remember to keep your hands moisturized too!

3. Use Long Wearing Topcoat

A little trick I discovered a few years ago, is applying long wearing topcoat (like CND Vinylux Top Coat) to your regular manicure.

4. Use Long Wearing Nail Polish

It used to be that long wearing nail polish was pricey, not overly available and only came in basic shades. These days are over, friends. While CND Vinylux 7-day wear has been around for years, this summer Sally Hansen launch Color Therapy, L’Oreal Paris launched Le Vernis A L’Huile and essie Gel Couture. There are no more excuses for not being able to access the perfect hue of long wearing nail polish. Remember, most of these polishes have their own topcoats which need to be paired in order to optimize the polish staying power!

5. Apply Fast Drying Topcoat Every Day

Ok maybe not every day, but using a clear nail polish, or a fast drying topcoat helps prolong your manicure and keeps the shine going!

6. Remove Excess Oil From Your Nail Before Applying Polish

Nail polish will not adhere to oily nails. That’s why many people with naturally oily nails have more trouble with nail polish longevity. Use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab to completely clean the nail bed before applying a base coat.

7. Don’t Wash Your Hands Before a Manicure

This is a MUST. Just like nail polish doesn’t stick to oily nails, it doesn’t adhere to saturated nails either. This is why if you receive a gel manicure at a salon, you only wash your hands after the service.

8. Wash Your Hands with Mild Soap instead of Hand Sanitizer

I love hand sanitizers – they’re so easy to use BUT they dry out our nails, making nail polish chip easier.

9. Shape Your Nails

While short nails are easier to care for than long nails – some of us like our length, correct? If you do opt for length, take the time to shape them properly (using a glass file preferably). Oval, round and almond shape nails chip and break much less frequently then square nails – just saying!

I hope you enjoy these tips and I would love to hear any that you may have that aren’t listed above!

Until next time,


  1. Renee

    Oh great tip on the gloves. I hated the smell of those typical yellow ones and figured they were all alike….great price I am definantly going to get me a pair of those…

    Thanks for the tip.

  2. Pingback: How To Keep Your Gel Polish Intact For A Longer Period - Potentash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.