Saturday, 7 January 2017

Hearty Nails: How to make a manicure last

Happy new year everyone~

As promised last week, today we're going to talk about how to make a manicure be long-lasting.

Includes fancy-ass Canva image

This is really basically about Doing Things Right. You may or may not agree on what exactly it means to do things right, but I think we can all agree that if things are not done right they will not be good.

Step zero: please pay attention to the state of your natural nails. Healthy nails will help, healthy nails are your friend. If your natural nails are brittle or peeling in layers and generally screaming for help, anything you put on top will chip faster, it won't matter if it's gel polish or normal polish or acrylic or Magical Stuff.

First: before you paint, you need to degrease. Any oil present on the nail plate will prevent the polish from sticking properly, so make sure there is none. You could wash your hands normally, with plain old soap, but if you want to go full-on, wipe the nails down with nail polish remover (preferably the kind with acetone).

The base coat: it needs to be quality. Not super high quality, but also not just a clear polish masquerading as a base coat. All the good base coats I have encountered have had a thin-ish texture, dried quickly and with a matte-ish finish. Not completely matte, more on the satiny side but definitely not glossy.

The colour: needs to be applied in thin coats, this makes sure all layers are properly dry before the next one goes on. Thick coats make it harder for it to dry, and may give you texture problems (including, but not limited to, Bubble Hell).
Another important thing to take into account when it comes to colour (and all coats really, but the colour coats make it a visible difference) is that you need to cap the ends. That is, the very tip of the nail and the sides, if your nails are long enough, also need to be coated. This makes tip wear (you know, when your colour fades only on the tip, while the cuticle area is showing no sign of age other than growth) appear later than it would without.

Shown: no colour capping on the left, capping with dark polish on the right. Also, note the shiny new logo.

The top coat: as I mentioned in my previous post, I sometimes use two different top coats. But I only really do that when I have nail art on; for plain colour I will only use the thick quick dry kind.

Bonus level: repeat the top coat every other day. I will use the thinner kind of top coat for this, and if I'm feeling particularly paranoid, I'll add a new coat every day. It may sound over the top, but refreshing the clear coat really does help a lot.

Catastrophe level: your polish has already chipped and you have no time for a full manicure NOW. What do you do? You paint over the top. You could even use a striper polish to add some quick design.

Shown: a chipped polish on the left, a temporary fix on the right. The fix was done with the NYC 'Show Time Nail Art 003 Pinkasso' striper polish.


If your problem is growth, rather than a chip, you could always add a coat of colour on top as a last minute fix. Or you could do the same as above and use a striper polish to paint over the line of growth.

Let's all have good long manicures now~