Ever notice your at-home mani doesn't seem to last quite as long as the ones you get at the salon?
While it's no shock that your favorite manicurist's work lasts a lot longer than yours-- they are the experts, after all-- you might be surprised how long a do-it-yourself manicure can last if done correctly.
Following the right steps-- and knowing what to avoid-- will help your paint job last days longer than you expect!
First: Avoid These DIY Mani-killers
Most women know base coat is recommended, but many don't know that nail polish on natural nails lasts much longer with proper pre-manicure care. Base coat goes a long way to help, but for real lasting power, you'll want to prepare your nails even before that step.
Nix oils and lotions. Moisturizers make it difficult for nail polish (including base coat) to stick to your nails, so avoid applying them pre-manicure and be sure to wipe each nail with a cotton swab dipped in polish remover, even if they’re bare to start with.
Skip the suds. Soaking your fingertips in a bowl of warm, soapy water might feel nice, but doing so actually makes your nails expand and then contract again as they dry. This not only causes your nail polish to chip, but worse-- it damages your nails themselves.
Soaking post-manicure can cause the same problems, so you'll want to cut back on excessive handwashing and remember to wear gloves while doing the dishes or other household chores once you're finished!
Now that you're all prepped, let's talk about technique. Set aside an hour or two of "me" time, and follow the steps below to give yourself a manicure that'll have your girlfriends asking for the number to your salon.
Next: Prime, Polish, Protect, and Perfect
To start, prime your nails with a good base coat. This step is critical if you want your polish to last more than a day or two without chipping. Just like primer gives paint a surface to stick to on the walls of a house, base coat adds texture so the nail polish can adhere to your natural nail.
Now it's time for polish! Roll (don't shake) the bottle between your hands to mix the product without introducing air bubbles, which could compromise both the look and lifespan of your paint job.
Apply two thin coats: The first gives your nails that gorgeous color and the second ensures full coverage.
Make sure to wipe one side of the brush on the lip of the bottle to avoid overload. Then swipe the loaded side from the base of your nail upward. Using slow and steady strokes, you should be able to cover the entire nail in three passes with one dip.
Pro Tip: Gently drag the brush down over the free edge of your nail at the end of each stroke for a salon-quality look.
Remember to let the polish dry thoroughly between coats! Rushing this process is almost a guarantee for smudging or chipping before you've even made it 24 hours, so give yourself enough time to wait for each coat to dry. A little patience goes a long way!
Protect your hard work with a high-quality top coat, remembering to cover the free edge for extra protection! This is the most vulnerable spot for chipping, so covering it with a top coat is a great way to keep your nails looking fresh for a week or more. For best results, reapply top coat every two-to-three days.
Perfect your masterpiece! Don't fret if you got a little color on your fingertips. Just dip a cotton swab or orange wood stick into your nail polish remover and gently wipe away any mistakes. Wait until your nails are completely dry before applying any lotions or cuticle treatments to your skin.
All finished! By following these steps you'll achieve lasting results you probably thought you could only get from a pro.
Have you given yourself a Maxus Mani recently? We'd love to see your style!