Manicures are one of life’s little luxuries. For a half hour, you can sit back in a posh chair, be waited on hand and foot (literally), and get your nails painted without the fumes or mess of a DIY job. Life’s not always as smooth as a pair of acrylics, though, and sometimes that shiny new manicure can get ruined before the drive home is over. Even after they’re under UV light, new nails can be delicate and chip at the drop of a hat–even if you’re careful, mistakes can still happen. To make your manicure last as long as possible, check out the tips (tips–get it?) below!
Avoid The Heat
Sorry if this means you’re canceling your post manicure spa day sauna plans, but high temperatures will send your nail polish into fits of crimping. Avoid being in the sunlight (think like a vampire) and maybe don’t use the stove for dinner. It’ll take at least a day or two for them to really harden, so if you absolutely need to operate an oven, maybe wear gloves or oven mitts for protection. Heat causes the enzymes in the polish to denature, which is why you get that runny, wrinkly “coming apart” effect if you expose them.
Skip The Hand Sanitizer
Wash your hands with soap instead of hand sanitizer. You should be doing this anyway, but it’s extra important with a manicure. Hand sanitizer is a toxic cocktail of chemicals on the best of days, and it’ll erode your polish in an instant. It’ll dry out both your hands and your nails and ruin your topcoat–it’s practically suicide for your skin. Wash with a gentle hypoallergenic soap so it doesn’t eat through the manicure or hurt your palms.
Don’t Soak Your Nails
Ask your manicurist not to soak your nails before painting them. It’s a technique usually used to soften cuticles, but it can have negative affects on the manicure. It causes the nails to absorb water and therefore expand, so when they dry out, your manicure won’t “fit you”, which can cause all kinds of issues. If you absolutely must have them soaked, ask the salon for cuticle oil instead, which isn’t as inflammatory to the cuticles.
Avoid Matte Polish
If you’re going on vacation or need to pick up the kids, a polish with a sheen is your best bet. Matte polish chips a lot easier then creme ones, and it’s more difficult to touch up at that. Save the duller hues for a night out–their time will come!