The key to getting nail polish to last: preparation

"The best way to make your nail polish last is to ensure that all product such as existing nail polish, lotion, creams and natural oils have been removed from the surface of the nail," says  Cathy Crispo, president and CEO of Toronto’s LUX SPA. Wipe your nail bed down with pure acetone – nail polish remover often contains oils that leave a residue on the nail and can cause premature chipping, she explains.

Another way to ensure long lasting polish application is to very lightly buff your nails, just enough to take off the shine.

Nail polish don’ts
If you’re continually washing and sanitizing your hands or doing household chores, your polish won’t hold up well to all the water and chemicals , says Crispo. The solution? When you’re doing your cleaning and dishwashing slip on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. 

Don’t skip the base coat
Do you really need a base coat and top coat? "Absolutely," says Crispo. "If you think of polishing your nails as you would paint a wall, a base coat is your primer and your top coat is your finishing coat."

Without a base coat, the polish can stain your nail and can only be removed with extensive buffing. Over-buffing weakens the nail and can cause it to split and peel – thus ruining your manicure. Add on a top coat to give your colour some extra luster and an extra layer of protection.

It doesn’t take forever between coats
How long should you wait in-between applying coats? By the time you get from the first finger on one hand to the last finger on the other hand, enough time has elapsed for you to go back to the original fingernail and apply another coat, says Crispo.


Keep coats minimal to help nail polish last
Don’t overdo it, says Crispo. If your shade requires a few coats to give it some punch, apply no more than three thin coats of polish in addition to your base coat and top coat. If you pile it on it will your polish will never dry and your manicure will peel like crazy.

More tips and tricks to make nail polish last
Stick to a waterless manicure like the pros at LUX Spa. "Soaking your hands causes your nails to expand," explains Crispo. When you apply nail polish, you are applying it to an enlarged nail surface and once it dries, the nail shrinks back to its original size and that’s when your manicure takes a turn for the ruined.

Should you use a drying spray or a nail oil? These can help prevent smudges right after you do your manicure if you’re someone who can’t sit still. Apply cuticle oil and hand lotion every night and you can do a top coat touch-up during the week to keep your manicure looking its best.

Check out the LUX SPA locations in Toronto Downtown and Yorkville at