Make Your Manicure Last This Summer

Manicure tips and tricks.

Summer is horrible on nails.  Just flat out rotten.  Between working at the computer, gardening (maybe I’m projecting a bit), swimming, cleaning, and the brittle scorching heat of the sun, manicures don’t last too long.  Pedicures too.  So let me help you out a little.

Help me help you.

(Jerry Maguire, anyone?)

make your manicure last

I can help you make your manicure last this summer with a handful of pro tricks, but you have to be obedient.  Promise me here, because I’m really counting on you.

These are all tips I’ve accumulated both by personal experience and by the help of many a nail salon in my lifetime. They will make your manicure or pedicure last twice as long. Follow every single one, and your nails will thank you.

  1. Some shapes keep better than others. File your nails into a shape less likely to break, like a squoval (a square with oval edges). Also, shorter nails break less: keep your manicure on the shorter side to last longer.
  2. Use an orange stick or cuticle pusher to push your cuticles back. Trim your cuticles if you’re handy with a cuticle remover. If not, stick to just pushing cuticles back.
  3. Remove oil from your nails before applying nail polish. I love OPI’s Chip Skip, but if you don’t have any handy you can use white vinegar or nail polish remover.
  4. Always, always use a base coat, and apply two layers. It gives the nail polish something to stick to.
  5. Allow base coat to dry long enough to dry. One of the biggest mistakes people make with manicures is not giving the nail polish enough time to dry in-between coats. Wait at least a couple of minutes in-between each coat of polish.
  6. Before applying nail polish color, roll the bottle on a table or between your hands to mix up the color. If you shake the bottle you can end up with air bubbles, which make nail polish chip faster.
  7. Use just enough nail polish to cover each nail, swiping from cuticle to nail tip on each side and then once down the middle. Repeat.
  8. Paint across the tip/edge of the nail to “seal” the polish. This helps prevent chipping.
  9. Apply a top coat. I use OPI’s Start To Finish as both a base coat and top coat. Let your manicure dry for at least TWO HOURS, for real.
  10. For a pedicure, wear open toed shoes the rest of the day. Don’t put socks or close-toed shoes on for at least 12 hours. I wait 24.
  11. After your manicure, apply a top coat to your nails every couple of days to strengthen the manicure and avoid chipping.
  12. If you do dishes or garden, wear gloves to keep your manicure from getting beaten up.
  13. If you do get a chip in your nail polish, apply nail polish just to the chip. If the chip is on the end of your nails, file down past the chip, and seal the nail tips again with nail polish.
Enjoy your gorgeous manicure!


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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

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