1. Taking a hot shower right after applying polish.
Never shower immediately after a manicure, as you probably haven’t give the polish enough time to set in. Exposing the nail polish to the heat and steam of the shower can cause it to bubble or smudge.
2. Going to bed right after applying polish.
Although nails will appear dry within 20-30 minutes, it actually takes a full 24 hours for nail polish to fully dry. An easy trick to help the drying process along is to wait a minute or two for your polish to start setting up, then run very cold water over your hands for about three minutes. Careful to not to run the water directly on the nails as the force of the water may cause the polish to smudge.
3. Applying an additional layer of topcoat every other day for an even longer lifespan.
4. A base coat smoothes the surface of the nail for a flawless finish, improves adhesion of the polish to the nail plate, and prevents the pigments in the nail polish from staining the natural nail. It’s an extra step, but totally worth it.
5. Applying thick coats of color.
To compensate for the color looking lighter and sheerer on nails than in the bottle, we tend to paint on thick coats of color. In this case, though, patience really is key. When we apply color in thick layers the polish takes much longer to dry, and the longer it takes to dry, the more likely we are to smudge the manicure. We recommend you apply thin, even coats and wait two minutes in between. The polish will actually dry faster.
6. Using one stroke to apply polish.
If there is one technique you should take with you from the salon, it’s that manicurists use three to four strokes to apply polish to the nail. With one single stroke, it’s difficult to get the sidewalls (left and right edge of the nail) and cuticle area, making the nails look unfinished. Plus, the color will grow out in mere days. “Apply color to the nail in three or four strokes,” Candido advises. Her approach? “Start in the center near the cuticle, swipe down the nail to the right side, return to the starting point and swipe down the nail to the left, then return to the center and swipe down the middle. If there is any uncovered area, swipe down the whole nail one more time.”
7. Oily nails.
If there’s oil on the surface of the nail before the polish is applied, it’s much easier for polish to peel—nothing sticks to an oily surface, You can use alcohol to prep your nails before painting them.
8. Using old nail polish.
As polish ages, the solvents evaporate, causing it to thicken and get stringy, also doesn’t adhere to the nail as well as fresh polish does. As a rule of thumb, go through your polishes every year and replace anything you didn’t buy in the last 12 months. One of the reasons we sell it by 11ml bottles. That way you don't have to pay for polish and throw it away. Really how many times have you finished a 15 ml bottle of polish?