How to Make Nail Polish Last Longer on Natural Nails

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For years, I have struggled with chipped manicures. I would try every tip, trick, and hack that was available online. So many of those tips never worked and, again, my nail polish would start peeling and chipping after only two days. At some point, I honestly thought that something must be wrong with my nails or with the polishes I was using.

how to make nail polish last longer on natural nails

I replaced my old polishes and bought a few high-quality nail polishes. Although they looked better on the nails, my manicure peeled right off after a few days again.

There are so many misleading tips online that it can be hard to determine what will help your manicure last longer. So, after many failed attempts, I finally found some great tips to help you get to a long-lasting, stunning manicure. My longest manicure lasted for 13 days! These are my 19 proven tips on how to make your nail polish last longer on natural nails.

How to Make Nail Polish Last Longer on Natural Nails?


#1 The Proper Preparation

Getting your nails appropriately prepped is one of the most important things that will help your manicure last for a long time. First, if you have nail polish on, use a nail polish remover to remove any nail polish from your nails. Then, use a nail file to shape your nails.

#2 Filing 101

This is a very common mistake. When you are shaping your nails, don’t file back and forth. It can make your tips jagged and more likely to break. File only in one direction.

#3 Not a Pro? Don’t Trim!

If you’re not a professional, it is not recommended to trim your cuticles. The cuticle area is very sensitive and you may cause damage if you’re not using tools correctly. Instead, use an orange stick to push your cuticles back gently. After doing this, apply cuticle removing gel (using the manufacturer’s instructions) and gently remove the dead skin from your nail plate and the cuticle area. After you’re done, wipe off the remaining gel and wash your hands. (It is important to remove the cuticle removing gel entirely before the next step.)

#4 Vinegar? Yes! It’s Not a Mistake!

Before applying any polish to your nails, you need to make sure your nails are clean and free of oils. You can use a Q-tip dipped in white vinegar to remove any excess oils from your nails. If you don’t want to use white vinegar, you can use isopropyl alcohol instead.

#5 No to Ice Water

This is one of the tips that I actually tried, but it just didn’t work for me! Don’t soak your hands in ice water. Long exposure to water can actually damage your nails and may be the cause for dry, splitting nails.

#6 It’s All About The Base

Using a base coat is super important, not only because it will actually make your manicure last longer, but it also will prevent your natural nail from staining when you’re using dark colors such as red and black. I recommend using the sticky base coats because the color polish sticks to them and they actually will help your manicure to last.

#7 Don’t Make This Mistake!

I see so many people make this mistake over and over again! They will shake the nail polish bottle before use. The right way to actually do it is to roll the nail polish between your hands. That way, you will get an even layer with absolutely no bubbles.

#8 Two Coats!

Apply only two coats of dark nail polish shades. For the lighter shades, apply three super thin coats. You can also use a white color coat and then your chosen color.

#9 Don’t Forget the Free Edges

When applying the base, color, and top coat, do not forget your free edges. Applying your polish on your free edges will help your manicure stay solid for a longer period of time.

#10 Leave a Tiny Gap

You have probably seen many nail videos on YouTube. This is a common trick nail bloggers often recommend there. They apply the color coat and leave a tiny gap away from the cuticle area. Why do you ask? It is simple. After the color coat, they apply the top coat over the color coat and over the tiny gap. This way they are actually “LOCKING” the polish color in place. This prevents peeling polish.

#11 Autocorrect

Don’t let the nail polish get on your skin. If it already has, use a polish remover with a nail brush to correct your manicure. When you leave nail polish on your cuticles and sidewalls, it is not only damaging the aesthetics of your manicure look, but it also can cause your manicure to peel off faster.


#12 Let it Dry

When applying the color coats and the top coat, don’t rush it! Let them dry properly before you apply the next layer. If the color coats do not dry properly, your manicure may look like a total mess.

#13 The Top

Using a high-quality top coat is one of the things that can actually increase the durability and wear time of your manicure. The top coat actually “locks” your polish in place, gives you that beautiful shine, and protects your manicure from chipping, cracking and breaking.

#14 No Matte For You

If you want your manicure to last for more than a week, use glossy top coats. Most of the matte coats that we tried are just not as durable and chip easily.

#15 Its Glitter Baby

We all know that the first place your nail polish usually chips is at the tip of the nail. If you want to make your nail polish last longer on natural nails, you can apply glitter polish on the tip of the nail. By doing that, you will prevent your manicure from chipping and give your manicure a new, cool design.

#16 Reapply Top Coat

Every other day you should reapply the top coat. By doing that, you will help your manicure stay beautiful on your natural nails. Renewing the top coat is super important and helps prevent the chipping of the nails.

#17 Moisturize After, Not Before.

This is a common mistake. Many people tend to use cuticle oil before they apply nail polish. When applying nail polish, the nails should be clean, dry, and oil-free. That is why you should use cuticle oil or cream after you finish your manicure. Applying moisturizer before your manicure will cause your manicure to peel off faster.

#18 Don’t Leave Nail Polish on Your Skin

Again, after applying your top coat you should make sure to remove any polish remaining on your skin. This way, you will avoid peeling and your manicure will last for a long time.

#19 Use Gloves

Using gloves is very beneficial not only right after a manicure but also while performing certain tasks. Activities that expose you to water, such as dishwashing, may cause your nails to be brittle and dry. To avoid that, protect your hands and your manicure with rubber gloves.

Bottom Line

This is the full guide of tips on how to make nail polish last longer on natural nails. Regular nail polish may last on your nails for 5-14 days. If applied correctly with these tips, you can make your nail polish last longer.

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