6 Ways to Maintain Your Manicure
Getting manicures and pedicures comes with lots of health benefits. However, sometimes it is difficult to keep our manicures fresh and in place for long. As proper manicures should last between one and two weeks and pedicures should last between two and four weeks, here are a couple of ways to maximize their durability and maintain those nails.
1. Prep Your Nails and Cuticles
Before getting your nails done and between sessions it is important to keep your nails in good shape. A simple way to do this is to buy a nail buffer to wipe down the oils on your nails. Buffing nails is a quick and easy thing to do that will make your nails look shinier and be healthier.
Right before appointments you can also wipe down your nails with white vinegar and a cotton swab. The white vinegar will work similar to a buffer in the sense that it will remove any product build up or natural oils in your nail beds. It is important to remove these oils as they create a barrier between the polish and will keep the polish from sticking to your nails as effectively.
2. Avoid Heat
A common misconception is that your nails are dry once you touch the surface of your nails or about an hour after you get them done. In reality, nails can take up to 12 hours to fully dry. The amount of drying time depends on the polish but is mostly due to how long it takes to still. As a result we often get into our regular routines shortly after doing our nails and expose our nails to conditions that are not favorable for fresh nails.
One of the main problems for fresh nails is heat. Heat can cause the polish to smudge or chip. This is because the heat can keep the polish moist enough to smudge, or can be dry enough to chip the polish. After getting your nails done try avoiding using a hair dryer for the next 12 hours as the heat from the dryer is sure to irritate your nails. You should also avoid washing your hands in hot water and hanging around ovens without gloves or mitts.
Moisturizing your hands and nails will keep them nourished, soft, and hydrated. In terms of your cuticles specifically, you should be aiming to apply cuticle oil to your nails and cuticles every other day. We’re already supposed to be moisturizing our hands daily so it shouldn't take too much effort to extend the care to your nails.
Restoring moisture to your nails is very important as it helps prevent chipping and splitting. If you don’t own any cuticle oil, like carrying it around, or have simply run out, you can sub the oil for thick hand creams or lip balm.
4. Touch Up Your Nails
After getting your nails done it’s unrealistic to expect you to sit still and pretty to get them to last long. We are constantly using our hands and in doing so we may scuff up the nails a little. Luckily when it comes to smudging and stains there are ways to fix these little scuffs from home or even prevent them.
To prevent any accidents and keep the nails looking strong and fresh, top up those nails! To do this, add a new layer of top coat every other day. This will keep the nails looking shiny and strong. It will also help ensure that the polish lasts longer.
Smudging which tends to be one of the easiest and quickest things to do to fresh nails can be quickly fixed. To do so, dip the smudged nail into nail polish remover to get the polish wet again. Then use a top coat to smooth the surface back into place and wait till it properly dries this time around.
If you happen to stain your nails when eating berries or working a lighter, use whitening toothpaste. Applying and brushing a bit of toothpaste with a toothbrush onto the surrounding skin or nail delicately will clear up any stains.
5. File Your Nails Often
Filing your nails will help keep them healthy and prevent them from breaking as easily.
As long as you’re on top of any tears or chips in the nail itself before it becomes critical, you can quickly file down the areas and keep the nail from completely tearing off. When filing your nails you should also be filing your nails in one direction to avoid feathering and tears. If you start to file your nails regularly but file them back and forth you’ll be damaging your nails more than helping them, so it's important to do it properly!
Supplements and Healthy Diets
We all know that a healthy diet keeps your body in good shape, and the same idea applies to your nails. To help keep your nails strong and healthy, you should be eating foods that have vitamin B-12, Zinc, and Iron. If you prefer to take supplements instead of searching for the right foods that’s also a great option.
As a general rule, the healthier your nails are between appointments, the better the polish will stick, so you may want to look into adding some nail care into your routines!