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Make Your Manicure Last a Week or Longer: 10 Tips You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Whether you paid a pro or did your nails yourself, it’s always disappointing when your polish chips in days. These tips keep your nails healthy, pretty, and polish-friendly.

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Wipe with acetone-based remover before you polish

One major trick to keeping a manicure intact is to strip the nail of as much oil prior to applying polish. Keep away from lotion or oil-based moisturizer just before polishing as well. Try these 14 tips for healthy nails.

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Bring your own polish to the salon

“Taking your own polish is definitely a good idea, especially when going to a regular neighborhood salon,” says Mabelyn Martin, a nail artist at Paintbox Nail Studio in New York City. “Lots of those salons use thinner, which makes polish chip quicker.”

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Wear gloves when doing the dishes

“Keeping your nails out of warm/hot water is also key in keeping a mani longer,” says Martin. Hot, sudsy water is a recipe for manicure disaster. This is what you nails can reveal about your health.

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Use a base coat

Head to the local drug store and buy a base coat. The base coat protects your nail and clings to polish, making it last longer than if you simply applied polish first.

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Apply topcoat every two days—focusing on the tips

Apply an extra layer of topcoat every couple days to keep polish from chipping. Then apply an additional layer of topcoat to the very tips of your nails, where the most everyday manicure trauma occurs (think texting, scratching, cooking).

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Softer nail shapes last longer

Consider a round to oval shape, according to the nail pros over at Essie. Nails with square edges chip a bit quicker than softer, curvier edges. Here’s what to eat for pretty nails.

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Seal the nail edge with polish

Close up the nail edge, where it’s been clipped or filed down, with polish and topcoat. This keeps water out and provides a barrier against everyday bangs and dings that would cause a manicure to chip.

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Choose a neutral color

If you know you need the manicure to last late into the week, consider a polish color that is close to your skin tone. This way, if it does chip, it’s less obvious than a really bright, eye-catching color. This is what your nail polish color reveals about your personality.

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Apply cuticle oil throughout the week

Brittle nails chip quickly; cuticle oil will prevent the nail from drying out. These are other proven home remedies for dry hands and feet.

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Get your chores done before the manicure

Dinging your hands while you wash dishes or tidy up around the house is a quick way to chip a fresh manicure. Finish up your chores and then get or give yourself a manicure as a reward. When it’s done, flip through a magazine and relax to provide even more time to dry.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest