Make Your Manicure Last through the Holidays

Chances are that you’re squeezing a manicure into your busy schedule right about now, and hoping that it lasts through all eight nights of Hanukkah, past Christmas Eve present-opening, and right into Christmas dinner (you might even be crossing your fingers that you can stretch this mani out to New Year’s!).

I opted for a CND Shellac manicure (those are my glittery nails in the photo)—which is a gel polish that’s cured under a UV light and will hopefully last for two weeks. I’m on day five, and so far so good. But there are a few things my manicurist did to ensure that I stay chip-free. Follow these steps, and you will be too:

1. Clean your nails with nail polish remover before you apply polish. Any remnants of oil from your hands or lotion will block the polish from sticking to your nails completely.

2. Apply thin coats (thick ones dent and can’t dry properly).

3. Paint the free edge of your nail. One manicurist says this is like wrapping a book jacket around your nail—it protects it and helps stop water from seeping underneath the polish.

4. Now this is key: Paint a cuticle oil all over your nails and cuticles at least twice a day. Brittle nails chip easily, so it’s important to keep them moisturized at all times.

5. Lastly, don’t soak your hands in water. Wear gloves when you’re washing dishes and keep your hands out of the water while you’re taking a bath so it won’t lift your lacquer.

Here’s to a chip-free holiday season!