How To Make Your Salon Manicure Last Longer

You went to the nail salon, enjoyed a nice relaxing manicure, even splurged a little for the deluxe treatment. Your nails are looking good, and then suddenly three days later, there it is…a chip. Need to know how to make your salon manicure last longer? We have a few cheap and easy ways to get more bang for your salon buck.

Keep your nails short

The more surface area there is of your nail, the more places there are to get chipped. Unless your nails are super healthy and you don’t do any chores, long nails are always going to be more vulnerable to chips, splits, and cracks.

Bring your own polish

If you’re getting a cheap and cheerful manicure at a salon that always seems to have the same bottles on the shelf, it might be a good idea to bring your own polish. Many salons will add thinners to extend the life of bottles that are past their use by, or put cheaper polishes into old bottles of higher end brands (OPI has been battling this problem with salons for years). No point having all that good polish at home, and paying for an inferior product at the salon!

Dehydrate the nail

That lovely hand soak before your manicure and pedicure might feel good, but nails expand in water, and if your polish goes on when the nail is still in an expanded state, once it contracts the polish will crack. Make sure your nails are sufficiently dry and that the salon technician removes any other residue from your nail by wiping it with acetone before they start on your base coat.

Base coat

This is an absolute no-brainer, but base coat is essential. Check out what base coat the salon uses and make a mental note. Some of the best on the market are base coats that feel a little tacky so the polish sticks better – Orly Bonder, CND Stickey, or Borghese Magnetico are all favorites.

Wrap the tips

No, we don’t mean gift wrap your tip! We mean seal the edge of the nail. The first place that chips is always the tip, so wiping polish across the free edge will protect from chips and water damage. If your nail technician doesn’t wrap your tips during your manicure, you can always do it at home with a top coat. And speaking of…

Top it off

Your nail technician will no doubt apply a top coat at the salon, but topping up your top coat at home every day or every other day will help keep your manicure looking fresh and shiny. Be sure to wrap the tips – wipe the polish across the tip, then paint the rest of the nail as usual.

Beat the heat

For at least 12 hours after you leave the salon, be sure to skip the shower, the sauna, doing the dishes, and even washing your hands in hot water. Your nails might have been “set” under the light or the fan, but nail polish can take up to 12 hours to fully harden. And speaking of the fan, blowing on your nails can do more harm than good, with the combination of heat and moisture from your breath causing air bubbles.

Keep nails lubricated

It’s important to use hand lotions to keep hands soft and cuticles hydrated, but watch your ingredient list as some lotions can contain perfume and alcohol, which will dry out your nails and cause polish to crack. Also, be careful using hand sanitizer as it will strip away your polish and cause it to dry out. A cuticle oil like Essie’s Apricot Cuticle Oil or OPI’s Avoplex Cuticle Oil will penetrate the nail and guard against peeling and splitting. If you’re going to do the washing up, pop a dab of oil on each cuticle before putting your rubber gloves on to safeguard your lacquer..

Elise Wright

Elise is a social media strategist from Sydney, now living in NYC, who has a long standing love affair with the beauty industry- especially the nail industry!

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