Wednesday 26 March 2014

Tips for Longer Lasting Nail Varnish

There was a point where nail varnish was the bane of my life. I'd apply it only for it to start peeling off two days later. In my quest for longer lasting nail varnish I googled, I tweeted and I tried a lot of different things. Although I am nowhere near perfect at applying nail varnish and am no expert, my nail varnish now often lasts for 5-7 days before chipping and no peeling in sight. I thought I'd share with you some of the tips I picked up along the way!

- Before applying anything, make sure your nails are clean otherwise the nail varnish won't adhere properly. So don't apply hand cream first for example. To make sure your nails are free of residue, lightly wipe over them with some nail varnish remover on a cotton pad. A few people suggested buffing the nail as well, however I didn't like how this made my nails feel and it's meant to weaken them in the long term.

- Use a clear base coat - think of it as a primer for your coloured varnish. This was the key in making my nail varnish last longer. I use Dr LeWinn's Renunail Nail Strengthener, which is absolutely amazing and one of my favourite products of 2013 - see my full review here.

- Apply your nail varnish as thinly as possible. It's better to apply 3-4 thin coats rather than 1-2 thick coats. I've made this mistake many a time, ending up with thick, lumpy nail varnish that ends up wrinkling, cracking and splitting very quickly where it's so thick.

- Leave a couple of minutes between coats to allow them to dry fully - this will be all you need if you're applying the varnish thinly as above. A coat won't adhere properly to the previous coat if it's still wet or tacky. I've had to completely start over again with some of my nails by being too impatient!

- Finish with a clear top coat to protect the coloured varnish underneath. I like fast drying top coats like Seche Vite or the one I'm currently using, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat. However I still wait a little longer to go about my normal business even after it feels dry to touch - it can still smudge or mark if you're not careful.

- Following on from above, avoid putting your hands/nails in warm water after applying your nail varnish until you're confident it's completely set and dry. Otherwise the warm water will soften the nail varnish even more, making it more likely to smudge and move around the nail. Cold water however will do the opposite and help set the varnish that bit quicker.

- Lastly, it seems a bit obvious, but my nail varnish lasts longer when my nails are shorter. They're less likely to catch on things and chip on the ends as I go about day to day life.

There are other things which may well affect the longevity of nail varnish, like the formula and the type of nail varnish or even just what type of job you do, which are much less controllable. I really hope you found these tips useful - they're not particularly groundbreaking but helped me an awful lot. I'd love to hear what helps your nail varnish last longer?

Beauty Bird xx



  1. Love this post, I've learnt a few things I didn't know before :) Also like the picture too :) Got lots of posts of yours to catch up on too when I have some free time xxx

    1. Yay I'm so glad you liked it and found it helpful :-) thank you lovely xx

  2. I learned the cold water tip a while back, it works really well! :)

  3. I do all of this, I just think I need to keep my nails short...*sigh* I had my nails done yesterday and they look so pretty, I want to keep them like it forever!

    Tara x

    1. Maybe one day they'll invent some amazing, super formula that can last for months!!xx

  4. Great tips - there's nothing worse than doing a rushed manicure and skipping some steps, it just won't last! z

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

  5. My nails are shorter but my polish still chips after 2 days, 5-7 days would be amazing! I'm using the Sally Hansen Instadri too but it's gone a bit gloopy now so ready to move onto something else! Just bought the Nails Inc Caviar base and topcoat so going to give it a whirl. Must try that cold water tip! xx

    1. Look forward to hearing how you get on with the Nails Inc top and base coat! xx


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