Top hacks for keeping your mani on point
For many of us, few things are more relaxing than spending some time painting your nails - and more enraging than to have them smudge minutes later. You all know what we’re talking about: you spend an hour carefully painting and buffing, only to smoosh them while putting the bottle away! Well we’ve put together a cheat sheet of ultimate nail hacks to keep your mani looking its best, and for a long while afterwards…
Do the prep
Ever notice how nail techs put polish remover on your nails before painting them, even if you didn't have any on in the first place? That's because your nails have natural oils that can prevent polish from adhering correctly. A quick fix? Follow suit and swipe your nails with polish remover before breaking out your base coat. Then wash your hands with soap and water to get rid of any remaining film or oil. Once your nails dry, apply basecoat, or if you want to go the extra mile (which we recommend), try OPI Chip Skip $29.99, which is an anti-chipping treatment that is perfect for oily nail beds in particular.
Don’t skip the base coat
We all claim we stick to this, but it's the biggest mistake pros see, so consider this your friendly reminder. If you want happy, healthy nails, it's important to begin every manicure with a high-quality nourishing base coat. Not only will a good one protect your nails from stains; it also fills ridges and strengthens nails. They also give you a smoother polish application, meaning your manicure is less likely to chip.
Definitely don’t skip the top coat
If you put your colour on with careful precision, don't ruin that with a messy topcoat application. Topcoats tighten as they dry, which is what can cause those little ridges if you don't put it on properly, and those areas will be the first to chip.
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Try a smooth application of Sally Hansen Big Shiny Top Coat $14.99, a quick-drying top coat that is formulated with an acrylic polymer complex that resists chipping, giving nails a long-lasting, high-gloss finish.
Don't skip the "free edge" of your nails and keep it cool
Always be sure to run the basecoat, paint, and topcoat around the edge to ensure your entire nail is sealed. And dry nails with cool air, never hot. Hot air keeps the polish from drying so use your blow dryer on its cool setting or a fan.
Keep checking in
Keep an eye on any chips or splits before they start by doing regular maintenance on your mani. Wash your hands with mild soap instead of using hand sanitizer, which dries out your nails and ruins topcoat, and always wear gloves when doing the dishes. If you have time, reapply a layer of clear topcoat every two to three days to prevent chipping and enhance shine.
Invest in good cuticle oil
It’s a no-brainer to apply nail oil daily to prevent your nails from drying out and splitting even if you’re going polish-free. The less moisture your nails and cuticles have, the more likely they are to break and tear, so invest in a proven formula like Dr. Hauschka Neem Nail & Cuticle Oil $47.00 to keep on hand. This rich formula penetrates the nail to strengthen and fortify while softening cuticles, and it’s also NATRUE Certified 100% natural, vegan, and never tested on animals.
Take it off
Oh, and when it’s time to take it all off? Opt for a kinder removal formula like Kester Black’s Water Based Nail Polish Remover Wipes, which are just $16.99 for a travel-friendly pot of 40 wipes. One wipe really will clean all 10 fingers, and they are cruelty free, vegan and carbon neutral.
What are some of your hacks for keeping a DIY mani in check?