It doesn't have to be that way, though. The founder and CEO of LA-based nail salon Olive & June, Sarah Gibson Tuttle, blew my mind with her insider tricks on making a mani last much longer than the usual handful of days (you know, like your pedicure weirdly does). "Our biggest mani-saving trick is to apply a thin layer of top coat every third day," says Tuttle. "This will really extend the life of your mani because it acts as a layer of defense against everything your hands are interacting with." She shows me her seven day-old manicure that she did this trick on, and I swear it looked like they were freshly painted an hour before.
Your cuticles also play a major role in keeping your manicure looking just-done. "Definitely apply a cuticle serum every day to hydrate the skin around your nails and your cuticles," says Tuttle (Olive & June makes an easy-to-swipe-on serum for this for $16). "Not only will it make your mani look like you just stepped out of the salon, but it'll make sure you don't pick or bite around your nails, which always looks like your mani needs to be redone."
And there's one thing you can do to make your polish last longer before you even apply: stick with a waterless manicure. "Soaking your nails beforehand might soften your cuticles, but it will cause your nail plate to expand," she says. So when the water evaporates, your nail plate then shrinks and then causes your polish to chip and pop off. "Instead, get into the habit of pushing your cuticles back in the shower regularly, and, when it's mani time, use a buffer cube to remove excess cuticle." Once you nail these habits, you won't have to deal with that "FML my nail polish just chipped" breakdown ever again.
While you're working on your own mani, try these minimalist nail art ideas for a cute but easy to achieve upgrade. And here's how to strengthen your nails so that they stop breaking all. the. damn. time.
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