Do This and Your Manicure Will Last WAY Longer
If I had a dollar for every hour I've spent filing, buffing and painting my nails only to have the polish chip after a single day, I'd be writing this from a private chalet in Switzerland. Sadly, that's not the case. (Dream big, amirite?) What makes me even sadder than my comparing my life to that of a Swiss lady of leisure, is that I can't get a DIY mani to last longer than 24-hours. This state of affairs is not good for my mental state—or my nails. Especially since I'd rather peel off dinged Shellac than suffer through shaking hands/texting/playing Pokemon Go with an imperfect mani. (#BeautyEditorNoNo.)
Enter: Revlon’s global nail artist Chelsea King, who regularly tends to the digits of celebrities like Olivia Wilde, Chloë Grace Moretz and Hayden Panettiere. I asked King to share with us the secrets to keeping nails (even crappy, splitty ones like mine) chip-free. She went on to reveal a secret so mind-blowingly basic it completely revamped the way I do my nails at home—as well as how I get them done at the salon. (Spoiler: The game-changing tip is #5.)
Keep scrolling for King's take on how to end chipped polish for good.
Vitajuwel Cupid's Kiss Bottle ($137)
We've said it once, and we'll say it again: Water is your friend. Not just key in keeping skin plump (and, you know, your body healthy), H2O is also important for anyone hoping to keep their mani in tact. King agrees: "Drink plenty of water—if your body is dehydrated your nails will get dry and brittle." The bottom line: Brittle nails chip WAY easier.
Revlon Multi Care Base and Top Coat ($16)
If you're whacking on a base coat as part of your home mani (which you should be FYI), choose one with strengthening benefits like King's pick from Revlon: "This Multi Care Base + Top Coat not only protects nails from wear, it also supports their health." King says if she's ever going sans polish, she reaches for this as "I get the benefit of a base coat with the shine of a top coat."
The Body Shop Almond Nail and Cuticle Oil Pen ($11)
It feels a bit hypocritical for me to push cuticle oil since it's a habit I continuously try (and fail) to form. King, however, has no such problem. "Moisturising is key to healthy hands and nails—I apply cuticle oil every night!" Why so important? Dry nails are more likely to chip and break.
Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy in Cardshark ($17)
This one might shock you, but King says she wants people to know that contrary to popular opinion nail polish isn't bad for your nails. "Your nails don't need to breathe," she says. "I find that keeping polish on my nails adds a protective layer which helps keep them from breaking."
Manicare Nail Shaper ($5)
Ready for the simple-but-genius tip that's solely responsible for a 47% increase in my mani longevity? Don't soak your hands in water. "When you soak your hands during a manicure, your nails expand ever-so-slightly," says King. "When they dry they return to their normal shape flexing the polish and making it more likely to chip," says King. She advises waiting an hour after a bath or shower before painting your nails and saying no to the soak at the salon.