As I mentioned in this week's newsletter, I got my nail license at the instruction of my Jamaican father who wasn't quite sold on this whole college thing and wanted his baby girl to have a trade. I literally have been playing with polishes since I was old enough to open a bottle and as a youngster would spend all of my pocket money on $1 polishes and nail art supplies. With this advanced knowledge of all things nails, I am ALWAYS asked how my manicure stays so unblemished for so long. Well today, I'm letting you into my lil' nail shop to show you how to keep that manicure looking so fresh and so clean!
Below are two pics of these pretty little hands LOL The pic on the left, I took the day of my 'Good Morning Texas' segment on Fall nail trends (here). The picture on the right I took yesterday (one week later). As you can see, there is a little new growth from the cuticle, but for the most part, the polish is pretty much intact. How do I do it...well...
First, I wipe my nails down with alcohol. Think about it. Most of the time, when we change our polish color, our hands feel so icky that we wash them and slap on a coat of lotion. That's a BIG no-no. The oil in the soaps and lotions we use actually break down the nail polish and cause it not to adhere to the nail. (Sidenote- After years of practice, I am actually in the practice of lotioning my hands only, never allowing the lotion to actually touch my nails) So prior to your new polish application, simply wipe your nail down with some isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball.
Second, ALWAYS use a base coat. I know that some of us only use a base coat when we're using darker colors so that we don't stain our nails. However, a good base coat is essential in keeping your nail polish on for a long period of time.
Next, quality nail polish. This is a biggie. I love my drug store brands, but in buying some of them, I know I'm going to have to re-polish at least 3 days in. Also, many of the cheaper polishes have additives such as formaldehyde that are horrible for your nails. Be choosy and spend a few more dollars on the good polishes. It'll save you an extra $20 for the mid-week manicure.
A good top coat seals the deal. Sometimes two coats will serve you better than one, especially if you are a hair dresser or nurse; someone who is either in water a lot or who is constantly washing their hands. A top coat not only adds shine, but also places a protective layer over your polish, preserving the color. All nail colors will have a level of oxidation (color dulling out and/or changing with wear), but a good top coat could add an extra day of wear your polish.
I hate doing dishes. BUT as a wife, I must do my share of the household duties. Hence, rubber gloves and I have become friends. Use them whenever your hands are going to be in water for a great length of time, even if it's just putting the dishes in the dish washer. I even sometimes use them while doing laundry (don't judge me).
When all else fails, carry an extra bottle of polish in your purse. I don't usually have to reapply, but I do get that odd occasion when my chips or cracks. Having the polish handy prevents me the embarrassment of going into a meeting or presentation with chipped polish.
I hope my list helps your polish last at least a few more days. Try a few of the techniques and let me know how it works for you. The oiliness of our nail beds vary, so your results may vary. However, as a licensed and operating nail tech for many years, I have used these procedures to help hundreds of women. So, take all of the information provided and figure out a formula that works for you ;-)