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The world is crashing and burning around us, and with a pandemic making it not-so-safe to visit your favorite nail tech, we could all use a little help in extending our at home manicures, no? Well, as someone who goes back and forth from getting her nails done to doing them herself at home, I have some key insights on how you can keep your manicure fresh for longer. It should also be noted that I am a huge klutz and tend to crash into things and be rough with my hands, so if I can do it, I just KNOW you can!
- Proper Nail Prep- This may seem like an unnecessary step, but prepping your nail bed will help extend the life of your manicure in many ways. The biggest thing is to make sure that your nails are fully dry, and by fully dry I mean that you haven’t washed your hands recently. When washing our hands, our nail beds retain some of the moisture from the water for awhile after washing, so it’s important not to wash right before painting your nails. The reason you don’t want any moisture in your nail bed is because our nails expand with moisture, so when you paint over that and then your nails get dehydrated, the nail beds shrink and the dried polish will no longer fit properly, causing the polish to chip and peel.
- File Your Nails Properly- Now this step is more important than you’d think, and I only discovered it recently. There’s actually a correct way to file your nails, and I’ve been doing it all wrong for most of my life. You want to sweep the file in the same direction every time. Why? According to Good Housekeeping, you want to avoid buffing back and forth with the file as this can cause breakage and tearing. Who’d have thought?
- File Your Nails With The Right Tool- How you use a nail file is important, but WHAT you are using to file them with is equally important. Glass files, sometimes referred to as crystal files, seal in the keratin layers together at the edge of the nail, which prevents chipping and peeling. Another huge benefit of using a glass file is that it can be sanitized and sterilized, which is more important now than ever before. Plus, if you take good care of a glass file properly, it will last a lifetime...and who doesn’t love saving some hard earned $$$? Crystal Nail File by OPI $12 is available at www.ulta.com
- Try A Rubberized Base Coat- If you really need a heavy duty way to ensure that your mani stays looking fresh for longer, consider using a rubberized basecoat, which is basically a tacky formula that helps the polish adhere better to the nail. Equally good is a bonder, which basically does the same thing by gripping the lacquer and providing lasting adhesion for up to two weeks. YAY to no more lifting! Bonder $19.50 is available at www.orlybeauty.com
- The Topcoat Of All Topcoats- I will never not use the Dry Fast Top Coat by Seche Vite when I’m doing my own nails at home for multiple reasons. The first being that you use it on wet polish and it penetrates through all the layers down to the nail bed to create a bond so strong that you don’t have to worry about your polish chipping or peeling. It dries super fast, and also gives your nails a gel-like shine that stays looking glossy no matter what you do to it! And it keeps your polish from yellowing, which is a must have for those who are fans of lighter polish colors! Dry Fast Top Coat $6 is available at www.seche.com