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Tips for long-lasting nail color

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

Color that lasts

Don’t you hate it when you paint your nails, or worse, shell out money to have someone else do them, and the polish chips after only a few days? Ugh, we know we do! To solve this little problem, we sought the advice of a few experts.
Perfect polish
Perfect red manicure

Check out the experts' (and our) best tips for long-lasting nail color.

Make sure your nails are clean

Before you apply any polish, cosmetic chemist of BeautyStat.com Ron Robinson stresses the importance of having clean, buffed and dry nails. "A clean, smooth surface will help the pigment in your nail polish to adhere to your nails better, which will in turn make it last longer." So grab some soap, a hand towel and a nail buffer and get to work, girl!

Expert tip: Apply a top coat every day! "Top coats act as a protective barrier and prevents your nail polish from chipping or fading, giving you a long-lasting shine," says Robinson.

Skip the hand lotion

Turns out, hand lotion is one of the main reasons polish peels off, as it leaves a film on your nails, notes Becky Sturm, CEO/founder of StormSister Spatique. "Prior to applying a base coat (a must-do for nail polish longevity), take a cotton swab and dip it in nail polish remover. Then go over each nail to remove any residue from hand and nail care prep products. After applying a base coat, allow 2-3 minutes of dry time before adding two coats of polish. Allow the same amount of dry time between each coat, followed by a top coat."

Quit biting your nails

Whether it's a nervous habit or just your way of cutting nails (ew!), every bite you take removes a chip of color, notes beauty expert and four-time author Laurel House. Simple solution? Just stop (or find a new habit)!

Try gel nail polish

If you want your mani to remain picture perfect, then gel nails are definitely your best bet. Not only do they dry super fast (we’re talking 30 seconds here), but the polish won't chip for at least two weeks, if not longer. Check out OPI's new Gelcolor for a soak-off lacquer that's just your style.

Stick to lighter colors

Darker polishes show every nick, chip and flaw much more so than lighter ones, says Ron. So if you're concerned about your nail color lasting, stick to lighter hues, like pastels.

Quick tip

Looking for more ways to update your manicure? Check out these cool nail designs before heading to the salon.

More nail tips & trends

Pretty in pink: Achieving the perfect pink pedicure
Hot trends for summer nails

How to get a perfect pedicure

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