Like most other people, I love going to the nail salon and getting pampered. But manicures can get costly if you keep a regular appointment- especially if you upgrade to gel, dip powder, or add designs. And let’s be honest- you basically need to upgrade to gel or dip if you want the color to last. My basic salon manicures would start chipping after just two days or so, which always seemed like such a waste of money. I have been doing my own nails at home forever, and save the salon gel manicure for a special occasion, like when I’m going on vacation. After years of using different products at home, I think I’ve finally found my holy grail of nail products that can make my at-home manicure last a week at a time with no chips! I keep my nails relatively short since they are naturally pretty weak and will break if they grow past a certain point.
Here’s what I use, in order, to keep my home manicures fresh and long-lasting! (Affiliate links used):
- Step 1: First, even if I don’t have any polish on, I still use an acetone-based nail polish remover over my nails to make sure they have no residue or oil, which can make your nail polish chip or peel. I like this polish remover, but any brand will do!
- Step 2: I use this Sally Hansen Ultimate Shield Base Coat (also doubles as a top coat) as my base layer. It makes my nails feel harder and stronger.
- Step 3: I allow the base coat to dry for about 90 seconds, then apply one layer of color. I love Essie and OPI nail polish colors- I probably have about 50 different shades right now! In the pic below, I am wearing OPI in Privacy Please (no longer sold, but these are very similar colors here and here).
- Step 4: This step is probably the most important and I believe is the reason my manicures last so long! After I let my first color coat dry for about 2-3 minutes, I put on a layer on this clear gel coat. I allow that to dry about 2-3 minutes, and then apply my second color coat.
- Step 5: I allow my nails to dry for about 10 minutes after my second color coat, then apply this fast-dry top coat. It is the best ever! My nails are dry, shiny, and hard after just 90 seconds. I’ve gone through several bottles of this and can’t see myself ever letting go!
And that’s it! It may sound like a lot of steps, but it takes a lot less time than going to the salon (and is a whole lot cheaper)! Side note, I may do my fingernails at home, but I will never give up my salon pedicures! There is no replacing a massage chair and leg massage!
What are some of your favorite nail polishes? Do you have any tricks to making your manicures last longer?