10 Tricks to Get Nails That Last

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10 Tricks to Get Nails That Last

1. Make sure you’re starting with a clean slate

2. Use a buffer and buff lightly

3. Reach for a formaldehyde-free top coat

4. Skip the thick base coats

5. Apply polish correctly

6. Let each layer dry

7. Skip the quick-dry spray (and don’t blow on your nails)

8. Use cuticle oil every day

9. Apply cream before bed

10. Don’t pick at your polish

Chipping a manicure is the bane of every polish lover’s existence. Luckily, there are ways to get nails that last, even if you’re doing everything short of sealing them under a layer of plastic wrap. Here are 10 tricks to get nails that last (and pro tips from manicurists to make those manicures last even longer!).

1. Get your nails in tip-top shape.

“The cleaner your nails, the better,” says Julie Kandalec, a New York City celebrity manicurist. “Use an alcohol wipe or nail polish remover and cotton balls to remove any oil from your nails so the polish can adhere better.” And since you’ll be soaking your fingers in water while getting a mani, Kandalec suggests moisturizing cuticles before the service so they don’t get too dry afterwards.

2. Don’t buff too much.

When prepping natural nails for a manicure, it’s important not to over-buff them. “I think buffing is one of the most abused things in the industry,” says celebrity manicurist Naomi Gonzalez. “People will buff nails down so much that they will split and peel.” If you have ridges in your natural nail plate, use a ridge filler instead of

Mani and pedis can be a relaxing treat, but when it’s done wrong—or done to death—they can also be a huge hassle.

Here are 10 tricks for finally getting nails that last.

1. Make sure your manicurist uses a fresh buffer on each client: An old buffer can be rough, which means it could damage the nail surface and make the polish chip sooner.

2. Always bring your own tools: Manicure kits aren’t expensive, and this way you know the tools have been properly cleaned, says manicurist Elisa Ferri of New York City’s Martino Cartier Salon & Spa at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.

3. Swap out your base coat: If you usually use a clear base coat, try using one with color instead. It will help even out any ridges in your nails and make your mani last longer, says Ferri.

4. Paint on two coats of polish: You’ll get a better result than applying one thick coat, says Ferri. Don’t forget to let each layer dry before applying the next one!

5. Apply polish down the center of each nail first: This helps keep your brush strokes smooth and even and prevents cut

1. File your nails in one direction.

2. Moisturize with lotion and cuticle oil.

3. Avoid acetone-based nail polish removers.

4. Use base coats and sealants to prevent staining.

5. Don’t soak nails before or after a manicure or pedicure.

6. Be careful when clipping cuticles

7. Stay away from formaldehyde-based nail polishes and formaldehyde-driers in nail polish.

8. Don’t overdo it with the polish! 3 coats max is recommended for regular polish, 4 for gel, and once a week for acrylics/extensions should be your limit!

9. Always be sure to have your manicure/pedicure done by a professional who is certified and licensed in his or her field so that you will receive a top quality service!

10. Lastly, we highly recommend having your nails done by our staff at Nail Zing!

1. Be careful in your choice of salon. If you want gorgeous nails, avoid going to the place with the $10 special, warns celebrity manicurist Elle. “A lot of salons offer bargain prices because they’re trying to attract new customers,” she says. “But they’re also cutting corners in their procedures.” Instead, go to a salon that uses disposable nail tools and where you can see the equipment being sterilized (in an autoclave).

2. Ask for a shiny finish. A matte polish tends to chip more easily than a glossy one, so request a shiny topcoat every time you get your nails done. If you prefer a sheerer look, let your technician know ahead of time; she can use three coats of a sheer polish instead of two coats of a more opaque one.

3. Have your cuticles softened before they are clipped or pushed back. Otherwise, the nail bed could be torn when the dry skin is forced away from it, warns New York City dermatologist Francesca Fusco, M.D., coauthor of Beautiful Skin of Color ($25; amazon.com).

4. Get rid of all traces of old polish before getting your nails done again. Technicians often just paint over what

How long do your manicures and pedicures last? How often do you find yourself getting a smudge in your polish on your way out of the salon or feeling like your polish is already chipping off as you walk to your car? Like most things, a manicure or pedicure is only as good as its preparation. That being said, there are many things you can do to set yourself up for success. Here are some strategies to get the most out of your nail appointment and keep your nails looking great longer:

Don’t shape your nails right before an appointment. If you are going in with sharp edges on your nails it makes them more prone to breaking and peeling because they have already been weakened.

Don’t use acetone-based remover to take off old polish. Again, this will weaken the nail and make it more prone to breaking.

Do moisturize daily with a hand cream containing lactic acid. This will help prevent peeling and keep cuticles soft so they don’t rip when pushed back during a manicure or pedicure.

Do exfoliate weekly with a sugar scrub to remove dry skin and keep skin soft. Make sure not to over-exfoliate or use products that

1. Get your nails shaped professionally, even if you prefer to do the rest of the service at home.

2. Use a thick moisturizer on your cuticles every night to keep them soft and avoid hangnails.

3. Always use a base coat before applying polish.

4. Use an opaque color as your base coat to make it easier to remove chipped polish.

5. Apply two coats of nail polish, plus a top coat for shine, but skip the second layer unless your nails have ridges or are very uneven.

6. Apply polish in three strokes: down the center and then across each side, leaving a gap between your cuticle and the first dab of polish. The gap will help prevent chipping later on (since your nails expand and contract as they get wet and dry throughout the day).

7. Don’t open your refrigerator or freezer door immediately after painting your nails, as this can cause bubbles to appear in the polish (and ultimately lead to chips).

8. Let your newly painted nails dry for about five minutes before getting dressed so you don’t accidentally smear them on fabric or carpeting.

9. Consider shortening long nails temporarily with an emery board so you can do more manual work (like

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