Doing your manicure only to see it all ruined the next day is one of the most annoying things that could happen. The key to avoiding such situations is knowing how to prep your nails, how to apply the nail polish and how to take care of your nails afterwords.

First of all, remove any excess oil from your nails before you apply the base coat. Use nail polish remover or white vinegar and do this even if you’re not wearing any nail polish. The natural oil that coats your nails is the one causing the nail polish to chip away and to ruin your manicure.

Also, skip the soaking. Yes, this step is useful because it softens the cuticles but it also causes your nails to expand and then, when they shrink back, the nail polish starts to crack. So skip this part if you want your nail polish to stay on longer.

Always apply a base coat. This will help the polish better stick to your nails. Also, the base coat helps you even out the surface of the nails.

The color you use matters. For example, did you know that shimmering colors last longer? All the shimmer and glitter make the polish stick to the nails. This is why this type of nail polish is so difficult to remove.

Knowing how to apply your nail polish is also important. Usually two coats of color do the trick but that’s not necessarily the best option. Instead of two thick coats, try applying four thin ones.

Avoid getting any polish on the cuticles. This is important because if you actually paint over the cuticles this causes the polish to lift from the nails and to chip and look bad quickly.

Also, when applying nail polish and the top coat, cover the edges as well. Sealing the edge helps the polish stay on longer because that’s where the chipping starts so by doing this you actually delay the whole process.

Allow your nails to dry completely and correctly. If you don’t give them enough time you’ll end up ruining everything. Wait around 30 minutes or more and then dunk your nails in cold water and apply hand lotion to make them slippery and scratch proof for a little while longer.

Don’t use hand sanitizer. The alcohol contained by these causes the polish to dry and chip, ruining your manicure. Use instead some gentle hand soap and don’t forget to wear gloves when you’re doing the dishes or cleaning the house.

Finally, re-apply a top coat every few days to make sure the nail polish stays on and looks great. You can do this a few times until you have to remove all the layers and start over.