Nail Hacks for Longer Lasting Manicures

Happy Mani Monday!! I’ve been dealing with my au naturale nails for almost 2 months now, and I’ve done many manis in that timetable. I’ve been testing out a few different base and top coats, and experimenting with different things to make my manicures last longer.

Shiiiit… As much time as I spend doing my nails, I want them to last as long as possible 🙆🏾


As someone who finds chipped polish detestable, I’ve gathered together some tricks and tips to help manicures last longer and wanted to share them with you 🤗 I originally posted most of these on IG, but I added a couple more that couldn’t fit, and I wanted to get these out into the interwebs 💜

Keep them nails looking flawless with these tips!!
  • Don’t have your hands in water for at least an hour before painting: water is bad for nails m’kay? It makes your nails soft, which can cause splits/breaks and can also cause the polish to lift and even peel off after application.
  • Wear gloves to wash dishes and do chores: same reasons as above. Plus it prevents chipped polish 👌🏾
  • Lightly file your nail edges before every manicure: filing helps seal your edges which helps prevent breaks and water from getting in your nails. I highly recommend the Austrian crystal file from Zeva! It’s gentle and should last for years!
  • Clean your nail plate properly: If you have oils on your nail plate, it can cause (you guessed it…) lifting and peeling of your polish. Wipe your nails with either isopropyl alcohol or polish remover before you paint your base coat.
  • Always use basecoat: base coat is a MUST. Even if a polish claims to be “all-in-one”. Base costs are designed to grip polish to your nail plate and they prevent staining. If you have weak nails, look for a strengthening base coat vs just a nail strengthener.
  • Avoid “all-in-one” base/topcoat: they’re just garbage tbh… As I said above, base coats are specially formulated to grip polish. Topcoat is formulated to seal in the other layers… Those two are mutually exclusive IMHO.
  • Use a good quality base coat: quality matters. Skimp on regular ass polish but NEVER base coat! You can use $1 polish over a $15 base coat and get phenomenal results! My favorites are the NailKale Superfood base coat from Nails Inc, Naked Base from Zoya, and Nail Guard from Zeva. They’re all nourishing and strengthening! They’ve been constant in my mani rotation as of late👌🏾
  • Cap your edges: capping not only keeps out water, but lets your mani last longer. After painting the nail bed, run the edge of the brush over your nail edge for every coat of polish painted (including base + top).
  • Oil your cuticles and nails everyday: oiling keeps your cuticles soft and looking neat, plus helps keep your polish pliable. Dry polish chips quicker! I really like Bliss Kiss Nail and Cuticle oil, or just plain jojoba (the unrefined yellow one) is great as well. I’ve made my own rose oil with jojoba as a base and it is awesome!! Sub tip: do not apply cuticle/Nail oil before your mani. It WILL cause lifting!!
  • Use quick dry topcoat if you’re in a hurry and seal with a regular topcoat later: quick dry topcoat is convenient, but they can actually dry the polish *too much*… Leading to chipped polish faster. If you only have quick dry, make sure to oil your nails every day.
  • Reapply topcoat every 2-3 days: keeps your nails shiny and helps prolong your mani! Remember to seal the tips 😉

That’s all the nail hacks I have for now 😊 I’ll post more when I can think of anymore good ones. I hope these are helpful! Please let me know if they work for you! 💜

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