Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Long-Lasting Nail Polish

We all love having pretty nails but it’s always a challenge to keep them pretty as long as possible, a week at least for me. Keeping nail polish on my toes is not a problem, it can even stay as long as 2 weeks with minimal retouching required. My toes are always nail polished, I love keeping it that way since I always use open-toed shoes. 

Manicure, on the other hand, is just tough to maintain, especially if you have a child and need to do a lot of chores and washing. So here are some simple step-by-step guide and tips for those who encounter a manicure challenge like me.

STEP 1: Remove or push back excess cuticle from your nails. 

I often get lazy to do this before. But removing excess cuticle (the strip of hardened skin that you see on the base and sides of your nails) makes the nail polish look more even and clean. There’s no need to use a nipper or cut the cuticles. I just use Butter London Melt Away, then push the excess cuticle back. Wipe off the excess product from your nails with a wet wipe or cloth. 

Butter London Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator

STEP 2: Wipe your nails with nail polish remover (yes, even if there’s no nail polish there). 

This is to ensure that your nails are free of dirt, oils and other impurities before you apply the base coat. The base coat needs a clean surface so that it stays longer. 

STEP 3: Apply a clear base coat first, not your color polish. 

This is very important for keeping your nails pinkish and free from nail polish stain as well as making the color polish stay longer. The base coat is similar to a makeup primer, it provides a better ‘canvas’ for the color to be applied. It also makes it easier for you to remove your color nail polish later on because it’s not applied directly on your plain nails. Ever had a hard time removing your color nail polish before when you didn’t apply a base coat? Or ever noticed a yellowish stain on your nails?

I use Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat for my base coat. 

STEP 4: Now you can apply your beloved color nail polish. Make sure that you allow your base coat to dry for at least 3 minutes. 

Reminder even if most of you know this already — always start with your non-dexterous hand. What do I mean? If you are right-handed, start with the left hand first so you avoid spoiling your polished nails on the right hand. 

STEP 5: Apply your clear top coat after allowing the color nail polish to dry at least 3 minutes. 

It would be good if you can extend your top coat to the edges of your nails, that part that you use to scratch your skin or something. This spot is where water seeps in and chips your nail polish. With the top coat, it will be a few days before water can break in. It takes some skill to apply it there, keep trying. 

I use Butter London Hardwear Quick Topcoat. 

STEP 6: After 1 or 2 minutes, apply an express or quick drying oil. 

Remember, this doesn’t mean that you can immediately go around and doing things loosely with your hands or nails. The drying oil just makes the polish non-sticky. Ideally, you should allow your nail polish to set for several hours, 2 hours at least, before you do some washing. And if you do need to wash, wear plastic gloves. 

I use Sephora Express Drying Oil. 

And here are all the 6 items I used…

Just some additional tips:

1) Try not to do anything with your hands within at least 2 hours after applying your last coat. 
2) When you need to wash the dishes or anything, wear some plastic gloves. I bought this box of disposable plastic gloves from Daiso at only RM5 for 100 pieces and it’s worth having this around. Protect your nails from too much water as much as you can. 

3) If you have time, retouch your clear top coat after or every 3 days to protect your polish.
4) Don’t use your nails to remove staple wires, remove adhesive tape, open a bag of chips, lift the soda can tab and the like. 
5) Moisturize. Apply cuticle oil on your nails daily. Moisturize your hands and feet with lotion or cream regularly. 

Have pretty toe nails and hand nails, ladies! 

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