There's nothing like the feeling of a fresh manicure — be it regular, gel, SNS or another new nail technique on the market. You instantly feel refreshed and ready to take on the day (even if you haven't showered and are still in gym clothes). But the tricky part is ensuring that it remains in pristine condition — shiny, vibrant and chipless — for at least a few days. This isn't an easy feat, even with the most skilled nail technician at your service.
Regular manicures — not the gel kind that are meant to last two weeks — should stay on for five to seven days, according to celebrity nail stylist Jenna Hipp. Of course, how long your mani lasts depends on several variables, including how (and how well) it was applied, your daily habits, and overall lifestyle, so it's important to be practical with your expectations and choose a color that meets your maintenance level.
Read on for 13 habits that are sabotaging your manicures, according to celebrity manicurists.
Image via Imaxtree
You overuse hand sanitizer
We all love to be germ-free, but overdoing it on the hand sanitizer isn't conducive to a long-lasting mani. "The alcohol in hand sanitizer can dry out your nails and polish making them dull and ready to chip," says celebrity and fashion manicurist Jackie Saulsbery. Instead, she recommends opting for a mild hand soap and warm water whenever possible.
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You don't wear gloves when washing dishes
Remember how your mother or grandmother always put on a pair of rubber gloves before she washed the dishes? She did this to protect her hands and likely her nail polish too. "Not using gloves when washing dishes or cleaning can wreak havoc on a manicure," warns Saulsbery. "The water and soap can dry out the manicure, making it less shiny and likely to chip." She recommends investing in a good air of rubber gloves, like Casabella Waterblock Gloves, $6.99, or asking your roommate or partner to cover the chore for you until you take your polish off.
Your diet is lacking
You probably already know that your diet affects your skin, but it also affects your pretty much every other part of your body too, including your nails. "Not eating enough protein can hinder the growth of nails and genes also play a big part in having brittle nails," says Saulsbery. "A biotin supplement, like Olly Undeniable Beauty, $11.89, is a great way to strengthen nails and promote growth." She also recommends drinking lots of water to help keep nails and cuticles hydrated.
Your nail plate isn't prepped or dehydrated properly
Filing and pushing back cuticles are two of the first steps in a manicure. "The nails plate must be lightly buffed and all oils must be wiped from the nail plate with remover or alcohol," says celebrity manicurist Sunshine. "The nail plate must be very clean, as this allows the base coat and nail polish to adhere to the nail plate and not lift or chip off the polish."