How to Ensure Long Lasting Nail Polish

Let me start by saying I love Shellac and I’ll go and get my nails done any chance I can get BUT sometimes the budget just doesn’t allow me to dote so heavily on my digits. This is where the humble art of DIY nails comes in. I’m not going to talk to you about how to do the crazy and ultra cool designs. Before you can really venture into that arena you really have to nail the basics… see what I did there? Boom-Tish. Just like any piece of art it all comes down to the foundation you start from, you have to know how to prep your canvas to provide the best results. I’m going to show you guys how to really make your polish stretch further and keep pretty for days.

Start by giving your nails a quick file and buff, you want a nice smooth surface with no jagged edges. Then gently wipe your nails clean with nail polish remover, even if they don’t have any polish on them. This will remove any oil or debris from your nails, you don’t want anything in the way of the polish bonding to your nail bed.

Apply a thin Base Coat. Many people skip this step but without it you’re just wasting your money. A base coat provides the perfect surface for polish to adhere to with a perfect finish. It also protects (and sometimes nourishes) the nail bed and resists staining. You know that time when you painted your nails red, left the polish on for ages, took it off and your nail beds were yellow… yeah, base coat stops that from happening.

 Apply two thin coats of coloured polish to your nails, leaving 10-15 minutes between each coat. Don’t rush it or you’ll regret it. Do it while you’re watching TV/Twitter and be patient. If you don’t you might create drag marks in the previous coat leaving a blotchy uneven surface… not cool.

Think you’re done… not even close. Now it’s time for the Top Coat. I’m a sucker for a high quality, glossy top coat because that’s the stuff that keeps the polish from chipping. You could use $2 nail polish and still get long wearing results as long as you don’t skimp out on the price of the top coat. I find the cheaper top coats “yellow” faster and don’t do much except make the nail look glossy. What you want is a top coat that hardens, protects and has a glossy finish.

Apply the Top Coat over the entire nail and ever so gently, swipe it over the very edge of your nail to completely seal the colour. I find this helps prevent chips and the closest to Shellac protection that I’ve found. Once that’s done leave them dry for at least half and hour. I’m not kidding. Read a book, do some stuff on the iPad, I don’t care just don’t bump or ruin those digits, you’ve come too far to botch them up now.

Ta-Da! You’re nails are all done and perfectly perfect. Got some stray polish around the edges? Dip a cotton tip into nail polish remover and gently wipe around the edges, anything left on the skin will come off when you next have a shower. Pro Tip: About three-four days later reapply the Top Coat to further protect your nails from chips.

So there you go, salon quality nails from home. Sure you’ve had to DIY and it’s taken some time but you’ve saved some money and got great results… go you! Want to learn how to do DIY Shellac? Well hopefully I’ll be reviewing ORLY smartGELS home kit in the near future, let me know if you’re interested in reading about it.

Just in case you were wondering, this is not a sponsored post. ORLY occasionally sends me items for review consideration and these are the things I can’t live without when it comes to DIY nails which is why I’m sharing the info with you. ORLY has won a few beauty awards for their products so they’re definitely worth your consideration and hopefully you’ve found my tips helpful.


  1. 2


    I just posted this question on my fb page & the lovely Laney ^ shared this link for me :)
    Fabulous post! I need pretty nails that dont get in the way with my kickboxing lol I will be heading out this week to get all the bits & pieces you’ve mentioned xx

  2. 4


    great post! I just die for manicured nails
    love the OPI gel polish, but don’t love the cost or watching them grow out
    would love to hear about the Orly home kit – could be the answer!

  3. 5

    Sioux Denim says

    Love a good shellacking! – but having had it done now for over 6 months, I felt my nails needed a break – have been doing the DIY at home too and quite enjoying it…..Have a great OPI base and top coat but certainly would love to hear about the Orly home kit too – thanks

  4. 6

    Karin says

    Thank you for this post :) gonna follow ur advice coz the way ive been doing my nails has made it not just chip but also peel!!!
    love the photos u attached too

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