The age-old nail polish question- how long does a manicure last? We are asked this so frequently, you would think we have a simple answer! But when it comes to nails, there are so many different variables effecting the length of your manicure lasting, there isn’t one answer that applies to everyone.
Nail health, genetics and daily activity are just a couple of the many variables playing a role in how long your manicure will stay chip free and beautiful. Keep reading below for our guide to what may be effecting your nails, and how to get the most out of your manicure!
First things first, we have one question for you…
How long does a manicure last for you usually? (When using professional standard nail lacquer)
Keep that number of days in mind- because that is generally what you will get with most standard polishes. There are a number of factors that come into play, that can influence your manicure length
Everyone has a different genetic make-up, which means different types of nails. We are all genetically predisposed to having strong, brittle, dry or cracking nails, and if you want them to be healthy, you make-do with what you’ve got! Strong nails will maintain a chip free manicure the longest, and nails that are prone to dryness, brittleness or flaking will chip a bit faster.
People with normally oily skin may find that nail polish doesn’t often adhere well to their nail bed. To combat this, we recommend using a non-oil-based remover, to dry the nail bed out slightly before applying.
Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can also have an impact on your nail health and in determining how long does a manicure last! Conditions that leave your skin dry and flaky, can have the same effect on your nails, leading to a shorter manicure length. Using a good cuticle oil to hydrate the base of the nail is a great way to combat dry and flaky skin, but be sure to check with your doctor or specialist first to ensure these products don’t inflame the condition.
If you are an avid shellac or acrylic nail user, this takes a toll on your nail health. Usually, you will have to allow the nail to completely grow out from base to tip, before the nail starts to strengthen and go back to full health. The avid buffing that nail salons employ, as well as the harsh chemicals being applied directly to your nail bed, all contribute to poor natural nail health. Allow your nails to grow out, and use a breathable nail polish in the interim, to allow nails to go back to full health.
Diet is the primary building block for optimal nail health. Nails are made of a protective protein Alpha-Keratin, so require a diet plentiful with proteins for strength. Our nails also need plenty of Vitamin A, and a combination of Vitamin D and Calcium to avoid dryness and brittleness.
Medications can also play a part in nail health. Dry and brittle nails can be a side effect of various different medications- if this happens to you, speak with your prescribing specialist for ways in which to combat this.
If you’ve been reading through thinking, you’re in perfect health but still not getting long enough out of your manicure, it may be your daily activity shortening its lifespan!
Activities that expose your manicure to excess water, soaps or oils will impact your manicure. Washing dishes, shampooing and conditioning hair, or for parents, baby wipes and nappy creams, can all impact on your manicure length. Those that work in hospitality or jobs involving a lot of manual work, may be prone to their manicure chipping more easily also.
For the longest lasting manicure, you want strong nails that aren’t flaky or brittle, but also aren’t too oily. A happy medium is the prime situation- however finding that medium can sometimes seem impossible!
Your daily environment is yet another factor coming into play. Do you work in an air-conditioned office? Using a cuticle oil and quality hand cream will ensure your hands and nails stay healthy in the dehydrating office environment. Excessively humid environments will also take a toll due to excess moisture getting into the nails, lessening the length of your manicure.
Products and Application
This is the easiest factor to control in answering how long does a manicure last. The technique you use to paint your nails, and the products you use can all effect the life span. Avoid products that contain nasty toxins and chemicals- even if you get a long-lasting manicure using them, because in the long term, your nail health could suffer. Choosing breathable products allows the nail bed to remain healthy, even when you’re consistently painting.
When applying product, keep your coats thin and aim for 2-3 coats for maximum durability and manicure time. Applying too thick polish, will mean a longer drying time, and higher likelihood of peeling or cracking. Thin coats are quick drying and make it much easy to apply an even coverage!
If the products you are using are too old, you may start to notice they are thick and hard to apply. This is because as nail polish ages, some of the ingredients evaporate, making a thicker consistency. Once opened, your bottle should last 12-18 months before beginning to thicken.
Keeping your nails short is another great trick to maintaining a perfect manicure! Long nails have the tendency to bend, which can crack and chip the polish.
So… answer the question, how long does a manicure last?
Sadly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer! You may get 5, 7, 10 or more days out of your manicure, depending on all the factors listed above!
If you have any other questions regarding mani longevity, nail health or anything else, please don’t hesitate to send us a message! Remember, your nail health is just like body health. Fuelling your body and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also help your nails!