Five Secrets for Long-Lasting Mani/Pedis
Tips & Tricks for Keeping Your Polish Fresh
Nothing beats a great manicure! Whether you’re a traditionalist who likes to keep it pale and natural, or are more adventurous and like bold colors, imaginative design and patterns, or go all out Cardi B-style and get a full-on set of embellished acrylic nails.
Whatever your style, the key is color that lasts until you’re ready to make a change. So what’s the best way to get a long-lasting mani/pedi? Here are 5 ways to make that color last.
Try gel polish instead of standard polish
Gel polish is a hard drying polish that lasts longer between manicure visits and can provide beautiful long-lasting color. What makes this polish so long-lasting? Your nail tech will use UV light between each coat (base, color, top) to cure the polish to a hard, glossy finish. UV light helps the polish dry quickly.
A few things you need to know about gel manicures
Polish needs to be soaked off using acetone. It cannot be removed with standard nail remover. Proper soaking is required to avoid damaging nails during removal
Gel polish can damage the nail bed (cuticle and base) because when it dries, it creates an airtight seal that doesn’t allow the bed to breath. This can lead to dry, cracked cuticle which can be susceptible to inflammation and infections
Beware of cosmetic products high in alcohol
Alcohol can break down the bonds of standard nail polish, so if you use products like gels or mousse to provide hold in your hair, you may want to switch to products that are alcohol- and acetone-free. Daily use of these products will keep your hair looking great, but they’ll also destroy your manicure, especially at the tips. And say “Buh-bye!” to hand sanitizers, because they are very high in alcohol. Soap and water are your manicure’s friend!
Avoid contact with detergents and chemical cleaning products
You’ve paid good money for that manicure, so invest in a pair of latex gloves to protect your nails (and hands) when doing cleaning tasks around the house. Detergents and harsh cleaning chemicals will ruin your standard polish, and they are drying to the delicate skin on the hands. And don’t forget the hand cream after using harsh chemicals or simply washing your hands. Cuticles need moisture to prevent splitting and cracking.
Don’t skip the base coat and top coat
If you’re a DIY manicurist, you should not skip the base and top coats to save time. The base coat creates a surface for polish to adhere to, while also moisturizing and protecting your natural nail. The top coat provides a hard protective seal once dried. It’s important to make sure top coat is applied to the edge and underside of the nail to prevent chipping.
Time is the most important part of a standard manicure. Giving your nails ample time to air dry is key. Typically it can take standard nail polish about 30 minutes to air dry all the way through to the base. Products that promise to quick dry will also quickly dry out your nails because they contain high amounts of alcohol — quick drying happens when solvents in the polish evaporate quickly. At the salon, nail driers that use heat and a fan to dry nails are best. If you don’t wait, chances are your nails will smudge or chip before you make it home.
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