Are professional manicures breaking the bank, but at home manicures chip within a day or two? I’ve got a solution — four tips to make your at home manicure last almost two weeks!
I don’t like getting gel manicures because it’s time consuming to go to the salon regularly, it gets expensive, and after doing it a few times in a row my nails are flimsy and weak for months afterward.
I did professional gel manicures for an entire year straight many years ago to break my habit of biting my nails (which, by the way, totally worked), but since then I haven’t ever done it more than once a year. Usually as a birthday present to myself.
A few months ago I mentioned on my instagram stories that I had painted my nails at home with a gel nail polish and a really good top coat, but I was so frustrated when my nail polish starting lifting the next day.
So many people responded with advice and tips, and after taking your advice, I’m so thrilled to tell you I’ve found the secrets to long lasting manicures at home. I can get my nails to last almost two weeks!
Four tips for a long lasting manicure at home
I’ve been doing these tips with my Essie Gel Couture polishes, and they’ve stayed in nearly perfect condition for two weeks!
- Prep your nails properly. Use acetone or isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball to clean your nail beds. This will remove any oils that would prevent the nail polish from sticking nicely to your nail. Next, use a nail buffer or fine grade nail file and gently buff your nails. The slight texture on your nails will help the nail polish stick and last longer.
- Don’t mix brands of nail polish. Sometimes I like to do one coat of one color and another coat of another color to create a custom color. Or add a glitter polish over another polish. But the mix of brands doesn’t always work, and you’re more likely to have faster chipping if you mix.
- Stick to two coats of polish and one coat of top coat. The more layers of nail polish you stack on, the more likely it will peel or lift off because it’s stacked so high. The best combination is two layers of your nail polish color, and one layer of your top coat.
- Don’t forget the tips of your nails! This is an important step to keep the very tips of your nails from chipping: make sure after sweeping the brush over your entire nail, you also do a vertical sweep across the tip. Do this with your top coat as well, so it seals the entire nail in!
The Essie Gel Couture polish is pricier than other nail polish, but my bottles have lasted me years, and it’s so much less expensive than monthly trips to the nail salon.
If you have other brands or tricks that you’ve tried and loved, share in the comments below!
photos by priscilla frey