I have probably mentioned this hundreds of times, but I am hard on my nails. Yes, I love my nail polish and probably change the colour and design 4 times a week but part of this is necessity. My nails and I do not always get along and no matter how careful I am, the polish on my index fingers chips easily or just peels away as an entire sheet. On the rare occasions I do want to wear the same polish for a while, here are my tips for long lasting wear.
Prep your nails to prevent chipping and peeling
It doesn’t matter how expensive your polish is or how much base and top coat you use if your nails are not clean and prepped. As someone who uses cuticle oil and hand cream several times a day, I find my nails need a good scrub to get my polish looking great and reduce chipping and peeling.
- Remove all traces of your previous polish with a good nail polish remover
- Wash your hands and use a nail scrub brush, polish remover can leave tiny traces behind (you know that icky white residue on your skin, it is on your nails)
- Dry your hands and wait. Nails change shape slightly when they absorb water so let them go back to their natural state and don’t paint right after a bath or shower!
- Wipe with alcohol. I know many people wipe with polish remover, but it can leave a residue itself. Use a lint free pad and wipe with alcohol to remove any oils from your nails. This is really important if you experience a lot of chipping and peeling as it is a main cause of polish lifting.
My index finger chipping (and peeling off in sheets) is not just due to use, it is also the nail with the most ridges. I use Essie Ridge Filler (available in most drug stores or Nail Polish Canada) before Quo Strong Bond (exclusive to Shoppers Drug Mart) base coats on all nails. Essie’s Ridge Filler smoothes out my nail and Quo’s Strong Bond is slightly rubberized so polish sticks to it really well.
You also want to make sure you are applying your polish correctly. If you do not use a base and top coat, do not wrap the tips or use thick coats of polish, it is more likely to chip or peel.
- Base coat: apply close to but not on the cuticle, including wrapping the tip so polish sticks well. Allow your base coat to dry to the touch otherwise you will move it around with your colour polish.
- Colour coats: apply two thin layers of polish allowing some dry time in between applications and keep it just inside the base coat edges. Thick layers cannot dry as well and are more likely to chip or peel off in sheets. Make sure you wrap the tips of your nail, exposed edges are more likely to chip.
- Top coat: apply covering the base coat edge and colour coats including wrapping the tip. By leaving a slight exposed area of base coat, the top coat will stick better too.
Once your nails are dry, now is the time to use that cuticle oil so it doesn’t get under your polish. If you need to do any clean up from flooded cuticles, do it before applying top coat as exposing the polish under it will make it more likely to chip or peel.