How to Prevent Your Nail Polish From Chipping

 How to Prevent Your Nail Polish From Chipping | Positively Smitten

I love painting my nails, but they chip so easily. I’ve read plenty of articles that suggest a laundry-list of items to do in order to maintain pristine nails. Some of the tips even include avoiding chores and hot showers in order to keep your nails in tact, but that’s unrealistic for me. Sorry, but I have to do the dishes mid-week, nail polish be damned!

That’s why I want to share some realistic tips for keeping your nail polish looking fresh all week long.

Prep your nails before any polish touches them.

Wipe your nails down with nail polish remover before you start painting. That will clean away any debris or oil on your nail so it’ll be easier for the polish to stick.

Base and top coats are a must.

Start with a clear base coat, and then be sure to use a top coat, too. You can use the same polish for both, such as Essie All In One, but you can also find separate polishes intended for the base and top coats.

For base coats, try butter LONDON Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat or OPI’s Natural Nail.

For top coats, try Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield or Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

Use the right nail polish.

I cannot recommend Sally Hensen Miracle Gel enough. Other Sally Hensen polishes work great, too, as well as Essie, OPI, and China Glaze. Cheaper nail polishes tend to be thinner and might chip more easily (but no judgements from me because I love ’em). 

Apply several thin coats of polish.

Go with at least two coats, maybe three. Also, make sure your coats are thin, and applied evenly across your entire nail. Better two, three, even four THIN coats than one thick coat. (Good luck getting that thick coat to dry!)

Let each coat dry thoroughly before applying a new layer.

This is probably the hardest to abide by. Nail polish dries to the touch within 20-30 minutes, so you should wait at least that long between coats. But it actually can take up to 24 hours for nail polish to dry fully. So, if possible, be gentle with your nails the first day after painting them.

Bonus: Super easy nail polish tips for lazy girls (like me)

I desperately want pretty nail polish that lasts for a week. But I’m not huge on manicures, I’m cheap, and I don’t always feel like following the steps above, so there are a lot of things stacked against me when it comes to successfully having long-lasting nails! I want it all, you know?

So here’s what I do to get long-lasting nail polish without all of the hassle.

  • Use Sally Hensen Miracle Gel. This is honestly the best nail polish I’ve ever invested in. I’ve tried other expensive polishes and never felt like I’d gotten my money’s worth, but that’s not the case with this one. It’s long-lasting, affordable, comes in tons of great colors, and feels like a gel manicure!
  • Apply at least two thin coats of polish, letting them dry thoroughly between each. Can’t skip this step — sorry, fellow lazy girls. I tend to casually browse the internet for a good 30 minutes between coats.
  • Choose a light color. This tip can really save you if you want to paint your nails on a Sunday, but know you probably won’t get around to repainting them until the following weekend. Go with a light pink or champagne color and any chips will be barely noticeable.
  • Take a few minutes every other day to do some touch-ups. This works especially well with Sally Hensen’s Miracle Gel polish because even if you’ve had some chipping, the polish is thick enough to fill those gaps without forcing you to redo the entire nail. Here’s proof that Miracle Gel + top/base coat + quick touch-ups one or two times during the week can give you lasting nail polish!


What are your nail polish tips?

1 Comment

  1. Great tips! I’m so lazy too, but having nice-looking nails is a MUST for me. I usually prep my nail beds first by gently pushing back my cuticles and taking the time to file and shape my nails before polishing. This way any snags or hangnails are gone before I beautify the nails. Once in a while (like two, maybe three times a year) I get a professional manicure. I think of this as an excuse to do good for my nails and to encourage them to grow long and strong with some professional help.

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