Which looks worse: chipped nail polish or no nail polish at all? If you’re a fashion-forward woman, neither answer is really acceptable, but it’s nearly impossible to keep manicures chip-free for more than a day or two at a time. Or so we thought.
We caught up with celebrity manicurist Lisa Jachno of Labnails to discuss why so many women deal with terrible, chipped manicures. “Working with your hands a lot will definitely chip your nails,” she said. “But if the manicure isn’t done properly, this will cause rapid chipping as well.”
Manicures: You’re doing it wrong
Think back to your most recent visit to the salon. Most manicurists start the process by soaking fingernails in sudsy water before shaping the nails and applying color. Unfortunately, soaking the nails at the beginning of the manicure can actually contribute to rapid chipping. “Wet manicures cause chipping because the nail absorbs water and expands,” Jachno explained. “Your nail polish will lose its bond with the nail if the nail shrinks back to its normal size after the polish is applied.” Serious bummer, since this can translate into a gnarly, chipped manicure within just a few days.
The miracle of dry manicures
Cut the water from your manicure routine to get longer-lasting color. “You should be able to get five to seven more days out of a dry manicure,” reported Jachno. Not only that, you’ll shave at least 10 minutes from your routine if you do it yourself.
So what’s the trick? Jachno provided us with these steps for a successful dry manicure:
- Whatever you do, don’t soak.
- Remove polish. Because, duh.
- File your nails into your favorite shape. Keep ’em short to prevent chipping caused by run-ins with walls or computer keyboards.
- Apply cuticle remover. Let it sit for one minute to soften the skin, just like a water soak.
- Exfoliate. Jachno recommends The Buffy brush to delicately remove overgrown cuticles.
- Wipe away. Use an alcohol spray to make sure sloughed nails and cuticles are clean and prepped for color.
- Apply polish. You know the routine — base, color and topcoat for optimal coverage.
- Keep it fresh. Jachno suggests that your reapply top coat every two or three days to make sure your dry manicure lasts a full week.