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Trends in nail fashion come and go, but one thing is for certain: nobody likes nail polish that easily cracks or peels.
While the formula for most nail polish products is generally the same, some brands have special formulas made to avoid cracking and peeling and let it stay for much longer. It’s not gonna last forever, but for the fashion-forward who’s always on the go and doesn’t have time for manicures at least once a week, long-lasting nail polish is a lifesaver.
So, aside from our top picks for long-lasting nail polish, here are some tips on how to ensure your nails look good for much longer.
Long-Lasting Nail Polish: Our Top Picks
Vishine Long Lasting Gel Nail Polish
Vishine’s gel polish can reportedly last up to three weeks without cracking, scratching, or chipping. It provides a glossy mirror finish when cured under an LED or UV light for up to two minutes, and it supposedly can keep its shine for up to three weeks.
Reviews of Vishine’s gel nail polish are mostly positive, with many praising the color, long-lasting quality, and shine. However, there are also reports of sticky and clumpy nail polish, though Vishine advises users to place their nail polish bottles in hot water for a minute or two to get the gel warmed up.
AQMORE Premium Water-Based Nail Polish
For those looking for an all-natural non-toxic nail polish formula, AQMORE’s Premium Water-Based Nail Polish is free of artificial fragrances and chemicals. Its water-based solution makes it safe for children and organic-conscious adults.
It has ultra-long-lasting features, reporting up to seven days without cracking on your fingernails and up to two weeks on your toes. It also has fast drying and hardening features, meaning you can wait as little as one minute after applying the first layer before adding the next. After adding the final coat, your manicure becomes instantly safe to touch after three minutes.
OPI Nail Polish Top Coat
If you can’t find a long-lasting version of your favorite shade, consider OPI’s Top Coat clear nail polish as an added layer to keep your regular nail polish long-lasting. This one seals in the color and leaves a shiny finish over your base coat.
OPI claims that the top coat can protect your nails for as long as one week. During that time, its glossy finish does not crack or discolor. It’s recommended that you finish your nails with two coats of this to get the maximum long-lasting polish effect.
Tips for Long-Lasting Nail Polish
Even if you’re using long-lasting nail polish, here’s how to go the extra mile to increase your nails’ lifespan and keep it looking good for much longer.
Use a Base Coat
Apply a layer of clear base coat onto your nails before applying the top coat. Base coats offer many advantages compared to applying your nail polish, including:
- Protecting your nail from the effects of some nail polish formulas that can stain your nails.
- Prevent your nail polish from peeling and cracking, extending its lifespan.
- Give your nails a more even base, resulting in a smoother texture.
- Strengthens and moisturizes your nails (since some formulas can be drying).
- Some base coats are peel-off and offer easy removal without the need for nail polish remover.
Don’t Soak Your Nails
If your manicure salon soaks your nails in water or you practice it when you do your own nails, skip it. While this method was practiced in the past to soften cuticles, cuticle removers now exist, so doing this is unnecessary. When soaked in water for longer than a minute, your nails will expand because of the water it absorbs.
When it dries, however, your nails will return to normal. When your nail polish dries as your nails lose its excess moisture, it moves along with your nail. This can result in chipping, peeling, and cracking.
But let’s say that you had to soak your nails because you ordered a hand and foot spa before your mani-pedi. Request that they give your toes and nails enough time to dry after your exfoliation rinse to prevent your nails from shifting.
Clean Your Nails
Removing the excess oils and cuticles on your nails can help make your manicure stay on for much longer.
Even if you didn’t have nail polish on prior to your manicure, wipe your nails with nail polish remover first and then let it dry. This is to remove any dirt and excess oils on your nails that can affect the polish’s ability to stick to your nail while also preparing a clean and smooth base.
Ideally, you should always do a manicure (or pedicure) to clean your nails and remove your cuticles before applying nail polish. When you apply nail polish and it touches your cuticles, the polish is more likely to peel away because it’s not meant to sit on top of the cuticle.
Add an Extra Layer on the Tips
Your nail’s edges are most vulnerable to chipping. After waiting for your last coat to dry, add a final layer of polish around the edges of your nails. This serves as an added layer of protection to keep your polish from chipping.
Use Thin Coats, Let It Dry Before Adding More
When you’re DIY-ing your manicure, you might be tempted to use a thick coat to paint your nails faster. But what you’re doing is actually making a layer of polish that might not completely dry even if the brand you’re using promises quick-drying features.
Instead, use thin coats of nail polish. Let it dry completely before adding another layer. If you don’t wait, it can peel off. A thin layer of nail polish should take around two minutes to dry. Add each layer slowly until you reach your desired coating.
Use a UV Nail Lamp
If you want long-lasting gel nail polish, invest in a UV light to dry your polish in between coats and after adding the final layer. Not only does it dry your nail polish faster, but it can extend your gel polish from cracking and chipping for much longer while giving you that shiny result.
Here’s the science why UV lamps can prevent chipping. The gel in special gel nail polish reacts to UV light by drying and creating a hard finish. A UV nail lamp may be expensive starting at $75, but when you think long term of how long your nails can go without cracking and how much you save up on manicures, it could be worth it.
Wear Gloves During Your Wet Chores
Chores like doing the dishes, handwashing fabrics, cleaning the bathroom, and other tasks that either require water or getting your hands dirty can slowly wear out your nail polish or cause your polish to chip. Prevent this by wearing rubber gloves when you perform your tasks for an added layer of protection for your nails.
Soap > Sanitizing
With more people understanding the importance of keeping their hands clean in this new normal, most would opt for the faster solution of using alcohol or hand sanitizer than washing their hands with a regular bar of soap.
However, to prevent your nails from chipping, it’s much better to choose soap and water over alcohol and sanitizers. The latter can dry out your skin and nails, making your nail polish more prone to cracking. And hey, doctors recommend soap over hand sanitizers anyway so at least this practice has other health benefits!
The modern person on the go may not have the luxury of focusing on their nails constantly. But if you try out our picks and follow these steps to long-lasting nails, your nails can look perfectly polished for much longer.