pH balancing your nails is the best way to make a manicure last


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True life: I am physically incapable of making a manicure last more than two days. No matter what I do, the polish starts to chip by hour 48, leaving me seriously frustrated at the fact that I dropped hard-earned cash for what feels like no reason. Gel is slightly better, but instead of the two-week staying power that the bottle promises, I’m lucky if it sticks around for a week. Champagne problems? Yes. But still.

I always figured it was because I type too hard on my laptop (… my keys have been known to fall off of my keyboard), but when I sat down for a manicure with celebrity nail artist Gina Edwards, who works with KISS, she blew my mind by telling me the real reason why my polish won’t stay perfect.

“Your nails are oily,” she told me matter-of-factly. “The reason you have oily nail beds is because you have a high pH, so you’re creating more oil within your nail beds. So you want to get a pH balancer for your nail.”

Yup—apparently that’s a thing. I was familiar with pH-balancing skin care, which helps keep your skin in a pH “sweet spot” to combat issues like acne and rosacea, but had never heard the principle applied to nail care. But apparently, it’s so common that there are even products out there to help combat it.

“It’s going to say ‘pH balancer, plus dehydrator,’” Edwards explained. This helps to dry out the excess oil on your nails in order to make polish last longer, which is a total game changer. If you’re a member of the oily nails club, too (you can tell by how shiny your nails are, and, in my case, whether or not your polish stays put), swipe on some of the serum underneath your base coat to hold the product in place.

December 4, 2018: The day my manicure game has officially been changed forever.

Another way to make your mani last, sans chips? Try a set of press ons, like these babies, or slather on some cuticle oil halfway through the week. And do yourself a favor and test out our favorite trend of the season: ugly nail polish

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