Make Your Manicure Last
Maximize the time between appointments and stretch your beauty dollar
A treat or some, and a necessity for others, a manicure is a great way to boost your beauty mojo. Flawless fingers are must before any big event (such as a big date, wedding or job interview), but you can add a few days to your manicure’s life by following these tips and stocking up on these products.
Think of your nails as a canvas for polish, so they need to be smooth and free of stains, especially if you’re planning on wearing a sheer shade. If you spent much of the winter wearing dark nail polish, it’s likely your nails have some yellow staining, which can stand between you and a magnificent manicure. Before heading to salon (or before polishing your own nails), take a few minutes to soak away the stains. Or, opt for a product such as Barielle Nail Brightener, which can be worn on its own in place of polish. $16, barielle.com
Save: Polident Double Action Denture Cleaner (yes, denture cleaner) helps lift away stains. $6.99, drugstore.com
Splurge: I’ve been a fan of Talika Instant Manicure for years. It only takes 3 minutes to soak away stains and brighten your nails. $33, neimanmarcus.com
The first step to a long lasting manicure is base coat. Designed to help polish adhere to the nail and prevent chipping, base coat also helps keep your nails free of the aforementioned staining that can be caused by dark polishes. For even better application, make sure your manicurist wipes the nails clean with remover before breaking out the polish.
Save: Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat dries by the time you’re ready to start polishing. $5.75, drugstores nationwide
Splurge: Lippmann Collection Rehydrating Base Coat is like a moisturizer for your nails. $16, Nordstrom.com
Think of nail polish as a way to express yourself. Whether you opt for one of this season’s trends, such as bright colors and a matte finish, or an always-classic pale pink, the polish you choose has a major impact on the longevity of your manicure. Dark colors don’t last as long since chips are more obvious, so choose a sheer neutral if you’re looking for staying power.
Save: Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails line of polishes “wear like iron” according to beauty insiders. $2.49, walgreens.com
Splurge: OPI polishes are a salon favorite. $8.50, visit opi.com for a salon near you
As the last and most important step of a manicure, top coat seals the color and acts as a protective layer that helps prevent chips.
Save: L’Oreal Pro Manicure Top Coat leaves you with super shine. $4.99, drugstore.com
Splurge: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat lets you get on with your day within minutes. $9.99, drugstore.com
Groomed cuticles are key for fabulous-looking nails, but they can get dry and jagged within a few days of your manicure. A quick swipe of a cuticle product can have your manicure looking like new again.
Save: e.l.f. Nourishing Cuticle Pen hydrates and nourishes cuticles. $1, eyeslipsface.com
Splurge: Hand Perfection Nail and Cuticle Treatment contains antioxidants and essential oils to keep cuticles in tip-top shape. $22, handperfection.com
Keep nails short: The longer your nails, the more likely your polish will chip.
Apply polish in thin coats: Too much polish means longer drying time, and chances are you’ll get dents and smudges.
Don’t forget the tips: Polish the top edges of your nails so you get a wrap-around effect that helps prevent chips.
Protect your polish: Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes since water can cause your polish to lift.
Follow up with top coat: Apply top coat every other day after your manicure to keep the polish looking fresh.