Let’s talk about chipped nail polish. It’s pretty much inevitable. Sometimes I think my nail polish looks at the lid of a jar or a box that I’m about to struggle
opening and just jumps ship and flakes right off. Even scrubbing my hair in the shower! My hair will get under my nail in just such a way and poof, I have a crescent moon shaped chunk out of my red nails.
I love going to the nail salon and having a nice, relaxing mani/pedi. There really is something special about getting to soak your hands and feet in a bubbly bath and then receiving a little massage after. When I do go to the salon, gel manicures have been my go to. They’re the most maintenance free manicure in the world. No drying time and it’ll last you up to two weeks. But let’s be honest, spending $25-30 before tip every two weeks on your nails is a little excessive, even for me.
Once nail polish brands began marketing at home gel manicure kits, I had to jump on the band wagon. Of course, I’m high maintenance and needed to try several brands, not just one. This is the routine I’ve come up with:
- Shaping your nails Grab a nail kit from Target or the drugstore and shape your nails as you like.
- Nail base Although the gel nail polish is not nearly as damaging as the salon, it still is rough on your nails. I apply Sally Hansen Hard as Nails before going in with my gel polish. I have very brittle nails and this keeps them from getting worse. Also, I’ve noticed quite an improvement in their strength. Thank you, Sally Hansen!
- Choosing your gel I’m ride or die for the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy. It is a thicker texture but it smooths out beautifully and the price point is wonderful. Not to mention if you can snag a manufacturers coupon you’re going to pay half that. I also love the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish. That nail polish will not budge. Their glitter polish is my favorite. It’s not too sparkly but it provides such a nice pop. Perfect for summer or the holidays.
- The final magic touch The secret to this whole thing! The gel top coat. Okay, so I know you’ve probably seen those at home lamps that you can buy to cure each layer of polish. By all means, you can still use those. However, with this top coat, I do not see the need for it and it’ll protect your nails a little more. I swear by the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Top Coat. Seriously a holy grail product. Put it on as you would any other top coat and just let it do its magic. It dries incredibly fast as well. Not like a salon gel mani where they cure the top coat and it dries immediately but it dries within a couple of minutes. This is the only top coat I’ve used for months. It locks everything into place, creating a hard barrier so the chips hardly occur! Not to mention, it is much easier to remove this polish instead of having to soak each nail for 15-20 minutes when using the real gel. The polish will remove like any other nail polish.
- Fake it with a regular nail polish No one said you have to only use a gel nail polish with this top coat. I’m telling you from experience, it’ll make even your regular nail polish have a longer, shinier life! I went through a phase recently where my nail polish had to match my outfit so I have collected quite the range of Essie nail polishes over the years. Knowing now that I can still use them but get a longer last out of them is even better!
I hope you try out this method! If you do, let me know how it worked for you! Defeating nail chips one DIY gel manicure at a time.