Happy Hump day everyone! It's happened to us all: Your nails are freshly painted you are looking and feeling fly and fancy free and then boom! You look down and there's a chip. Today I will touch on the top 7 reasons for chips and how to prevent them from ruining your day and your manicure!
You Don't Use Base Coat
Okay this one is pretty obvious. But - for those of you that are new to painting your nails this step is essential to achieving a long lasting paint job. You can't have a masterpiece if the canvas isn't properly prepared!
You Don't Use Top Coat
Again, goes without saying but... I'm saying it anyway. Base and top coats work in tandem to protect your nail polish from the everyday wear and tear your nails experience. If one of these is missing in action you can kiss that pretty mani buh-bye in no time flat. Not only does it protect your polish but it will make your nails look shiny and gorgeous and professionally done.
Your Nails Are Not Clean When You Apply Polish
This is important if your nails tend to hold on to oils and lotions. After applying your cuticle oil and/or lotion you want to take a cotton ball or cotton round and use either rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to remove any residue from the nail before applying your base coat. This gives your base coat a nice clean canvas and will prevent it from chipping- and thereby chipping the polish you apply over it.
Your Nails Are Dry
I struggle with nails that tend to be dry and brittle. This not only can make your nails break easily but also makes it hard for manicures to last. The key is to moisturize. Now this may seem counter-intuitive to my instructions in number 5 and if you do not have dry nails - skip to number 3. It's important that after applying your oil/lotion that you allow it sink it and do not remove the excess with alcohol or acetone. All that will do is dehydrate your nails all over again and you're back to where you started. After about 5 minutes apply your base coat. This has been one of the few things that has worked for me over the years. I still struggle with the occasional chip because dry nails and polish are mortal enemies, but it has reduced the chipping significantly.
You Are Using The Wrong Base Coat
I touched on this in more detail with my The Good The Bad and The Meh post about base coats. Base coats work differently depending on your chemistry and it may take some trial and error to find the one that works best for you. I have been using KBShimmer Basic Training base coat for well over a year now and it has worked well with my dry nails. Before that however I had tried practically every base coat under the sun. It really is trial and error, but once you find something that works stick with it.
You Don't Use Gloves While Cleaning
Nothing ruins a manicure faster than your nails being treated like brillo pads. Frequent exposure to water and harsh detergents and cleaning products not only can dry out your nails but it will almost certainly shorten the lifespan of your manicure. For cleaning up, doing dishes, etc. invest in a pair of rubber gloves. It's a simple thing that can make all the difference in whether your polish lasts a week or two days.
You Don't Wrap Your Tips When Painting Your Nails
Of all the above mentioned steps this is the one that has made the most difference in whether my manicure lasts a day or a week. "Wrapping" your tips basically means applying the polish to the tips of your nails. This is a really simple step. You can do this either before you apply your first coat or before you apply your second coat: Simply take a small bit (not too much because you don't want the tips to look bumpy or clumped with polish) of polish and apply it to the tips of each nail, making sure that the tips are completely covered with polish. You do the step again with your top coat once you've finished applying your coats of polish.. This effectively "seals" the polish on the tips of your nails which not only make your manicure look more polished and professional but will help prevent tip wear and chipping.