How To Make Manicure Last Longer? A Beginner Guide


How to make manicure last longer

A beautiful, long-lasting manicure is the goal for most women who get their nails done. However, it often seems like no matter what nail polish or top coat you use, your flawless nails end up with chips, cracks, and dents after just a few days. 

Don't despair! With some simple tips and tricks, you can extend the life of your manicure for 7-10 days or even two weeks. Read on to learn all the secrets of making your manicure last as long as possible.

Tips on How To Make Manicure Last Longer

Prep Your Nails Properly

The key to long-lasting nails starts before you even apply polish. You need to thoroughly prep your nails to create a smooth foundation that nail lacquer can adhere to.  

Remove Oil and Moisture

Wash your hands with soap and water before your manicure to remove any traces of oil, lotion, or moisture. Water is the enemy when it comes to manicures, so thoroughly drying your nails is essential. 

Use a dehydrator like acetone or alcohol to dry your nail beds and remove any lingering moisture. Cotton balls work perfectly to sweep over your nails.

File and Buff

Shape and lightly buff the surface of your nails so the polish glides on smoothly. Use a fine-grit emery board in one direction only—back and forth can cause stress lines that give polish something to grab onto.

Gently buff the top layer of your nails to remove any shine and ridged areas. This opens up the nail plate for maximum polish adhesion.  

Use a Base Coat

A quality base coat is mandatory and acts as a primer for your polish. It fills in imperfections in the nail surface to create a smooth canvas. The best base coats also have ridge-filling properties to help polish cling to the nail.

Make sure to apply the base coat to the underside tip of your nails too. This prevents moisture from getting trapped under your polish.

Choose the Right Polish

The types and colors of nail polish and top coat you select to play a huge role in extending the wear of your manicure. Stay away from certain formulas if you want a long-lasting lacquered look.

Avoid Sheer Polishes

Sheer and jelly nail polishes may allow your natural nails to show through, but they rarely have the pigmentation to last. Stick to opaque cream polishes in a variety of colors and finishes. The thicker formula adheres better and resists chipping longer.

Use Gel or Dip Powder Polish  

Modern advancements like gel polish and dip powder nails utilize a special light to cure them onto your nails for extended wear. Both options can safely stay put for up to three weeks with no cracks or chips! At-home gel manicure kits provide salon results without the markup. 

Pick Quality Formulas

Drugstore nail polishes simply don’t have the same staying power and longevity as salon-quality lacquers. Splurge on an exclusive brand loved by professionals for intense pigmentation and durability. Popular long-wear polish lines include OPI, Essie, China Glaze, and more.

Apply Your Polish Properly

Applying nail polish like a pro will keep it looking freshly painted for 14 days or more. Follow these tips when lacquering your nails:

Apply Thin Layers  

The temptation may be to coat your brush with polish and paint thick coats to cover your nails quickly. Avoid this! Multiple thin layers allow each application to dry properly between coats. Thick globs take longer to set and end up shrinking as they dry.

Cap Your Free Edge

Painting just the top of your nail isn’t enough—you must “cap your free edge” for maximum longevity. This means brushing polish over the tip of your nails to seal in color completely. Capping prevents cracking as your nails grow out.  

Let Polish Dry Fully

There’s a reason the average wait time between coats of polish is 2-3 minutes. Rushing the drying process ruins a manicure! Make sure each layer dries completely before adding another. Attempting to speed up drying with cold air can cause bubbling.

Use a Top Coat

High-shine top coats create an impermeable layer over nail lacquer to lock in color and provide a glossy finished look. However, not all top coats are created equal regarding extending wear.  

Look for Quick-Dry Formulas

General top coats work fine, but quick-dry varieties excel at drying rapidly for an ultra-smooth surface. Rapidly sealing your manicure leaves no gaps for chips and dents to form. Quick-dry top coats still let each layer of color dry fully underneath.

Use a Top Coat With Durability

Some top coats now offer advanced durability, flexibility, and strength to fight cracks in nail polish. Water-resistant and even cement-like top coat textures prevent chipping even further. Duri Rejuvacote is a popular salon brand top coat for nail strength.

Maintain Your Manicure

You meticulously prepped, painted, and sealed your nails—now keep them pristine! Maintaining your lacquered digits helps your beautiful mani last and last.  

Stay Away from Chemicals

Household cleaning solutions, greases, and hand sanitizers can be rough on polish. Wear rubber gloves when getting your hands dirty. Most nail pros recommend waiting 8 hours after a fresh manicure before submerging nails in water to avoid damage too. 

Reapply Top Coat Mid-Week  

Reinforce your protective top coat layer 3-4 days after your manicure for boosted staying power. Quickly brush on another fast-dry or durable top coat to refresh the shine and help seal the free edge as your nails grow.  

Use Cuticle Oil

Keep cuticles softened and hydrated with nail oil to avoid cracking around your nail bed. Brush it over your cuticles morning and night. The right oils can also help strengthen nails to avoid breaks underneath the polish.

Remove Polish Properly

When it’s finally time to take off your aged manicure, don’t just start peeling off the polish! Use remover and give your nails some TLC to prep them for the next round of color.

Soak Cotton in Polish Remover

Press cotton rounds soaked in pure acetone or non-acetone remover against each nail to dissolve leftover lacquer. Never pick or peel at your polish! Acetone-free options are safer for your skin and nails.

Buff Away Stains   

Yellow stains may linger on your nail plate even if old polish appears gone. Gently buff each nail with a fine emery board to remove every last trace of color. Avoid over-filing though, which can thin nails.

Hydrate Nails

Replenish moisture to your nails with a hydrating oil or cream after removing old lacquer. Let them breathe overnight before starting the manicure process once more!


With gorgeous, lasting nails as your reward, taking the time to properly prep, paint, and care for your manicure is well worth it. Use these pro tips and tricks to flaunt your flawless fingers for 14 days and beyond without a dent or chip in sight.

What strategies do you rely on to make your polish stand the test of time? Share your top manicure maintenance secrets below!

Also if you want to buy high-quality tools and accessories for your manicure, buy them today at Nail Capital USA.

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