6 Tips for Getting That Manicure to Last Longer

So you just got a manicure and you couldn't be happier, taking any excuse to show off your fingers to the world. But you know that in a few days, that post-mani euphoria will chip and crack like the polish on your nails, leaving you to walk around hiding your hands like a prodigy piano student with a paranoid mother.
Follow this guide to stretching that manicure out to its full 10-day potential.
With expert technique and care, manicures should last for 10 days and could last for 14.

Plug Up the Free Edge
Your nail tech will file the edge of your nails, clip them or both. This traumatized portion is referred to as the "free edge." Spread all three coats - the base coat, nail polish, and top coat - across this vulnerable surface. You'll protect it from stress, impact and water damage. This is where the majority of cracks form. Taking this step can double the life of your digits' beauty.

Nail salons routinely do with nail polish what unscrupulous bar owners have done with their liquor since the Wild West: thin it out to stretch the polish and save money. Nail salons add thinner to extend the life of enamel. Bring your own polish.

Nix Nicks Right Away
When you get a nick or chip, no matter how minor, smooth it out right away with a dab of cuticle oil. Chips in a manicure are like rattling in a car engine. It's easy to ignore and hope it will go away, fix itself, or last until the next tune-up. It won't. It never does. Tackle small problems before they morph into big problems.

Also as with automobiles, regular oil maintenance can prevent a wide range of major issues from arising. Without moisture, your nail bed will split and peel. Lotions and moisturizers won't be enough - nail oils are purified with elements like vitamin E, which are necessary to healthy nail life.

Brush-on Gels
A post-mani brush-on gel can cost you as much as $15 more on your manicure, but with some experts saying it can extend the life of your manicure for an unheard-of 14 days, it's well worth it on the savings for repeat visits. Brush-on gels have made major strides in recent years, providing lasting protection without drying your nails or deteriorating your nail polish.

If it Sounds Too Fast to Be True
Fast-drying times should throw up a red flag. It's a shortcut that brings shortcut results - especially with the ever-important topcoat. Finishing polish is like ketchup - if it's good, it's worth waiting for.
Manicures face a range of potential damage, all of which can be prevented with expert care.

There are few things better in this world than the fresh-out-of-the-salon look and feel of a new manicure. But when the first cracks, chips, and peels start to appear, the euphoria fades and the cycle of repair and disappointment begins anew. Lengthen the euphoria and reduce trips to the salon with basic, common-sense techniques.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about fashion and makeup and profiles top legal professionals such as Tim Broas.

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