Why Your Nail Polish Chips, and How to Make It Last Longer

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I’ve never had good luck with nail polish — not regular nail polish, anyway.

It’s not like I haven’t tried them all. From quick-dry to nail hardening formulas, cheap dollar store polish to bottles from expensive high fashion brands, I’ve tried just about every option.

Does Your Polish Chip After Only a Day or Two?

But every time I brush some color on my nails, I get a day or two out of my polish before it starts chipping. So, I end up not painting my nails at all — it’s so much hassle, just for them to look grungy the next day. And then I have to take the time to clean all the rest of the polish off, too.

In all honesty, I’ve spent most of my adult life shelling out the cash for gel polish in a salon, or not having painted nails at all.

Neither my wallet or my nails are into the constant gel polish.

Although gel manicures are beautiful and definitely last a long time, they can be pretty harsh on your nails. With repeated use, gel polish can cause nail brittleness, peeling, thinning, and cracking — plus, soak-off gels mean issues from the 10+ minute acetone soak.

So, what’s a girl to do? Is it just not in the cards for me to have perfectly polished nails?

As it turns out, there’s a reason why my nail polish always chips prematurely. And, unlike what I originally suspected, it’s not because I’m not a girly girl. Okay, I’m sure that changing the oil in my car doesn’t help, but no, there’s another reason why I can’t keep polish to stay.

We all have a skin type, and as it turns out, we all have a nail type, too.

In the same way that our faces might be dry, oily, or combination, our nails follow the same kind of categorizations. It’s actually natural oils that might be the culprit. The oil secretion from your cuticle beds can inhibit even the best polishes from sticking around.

Tips for Making a Manicure Last Longer

If you want to make your mani-pedi last longer, there are a few things you can do.

First of all, you should always thoroughly clean your bare nail beds. You want them to feel really dry before applying polish. If you’ve ever been to a salon for a manicure, you’ve likely noticed that nail technicians always put polish remover on your nails before painting them — even if you didn’t have any polish on at all. That’s because they want to nix the natural oils before putting on polish.

Every so often, take the time to exfoliate your cuticles, too. Start by massaging a cuticle treatment into your cuticles, and gently push them back. It will help get your cuticle off your nail plate, and also helps get rid of dead skin cells. Afterward, apply a cuticle oil to add hydration.

Don’t skip the base coat or top coat. A nourishing base coat will strengthen nails, and also fills ridges, and leads to a smoother polish application. Top coats are just as important, because they ensure your polish will last longer. Don’t forget to seal off the bottom edges of your nails, too.

To really help your mani last longer, reapply a top coat every couple of days to freshen it up and increase durability.