I paint my nails so often that I rarely get manicures. And if it’s winter, I pretend like my feet don’t even exist and leave them in the dark. I mean, who’s really going to see my dogs when it’s 5 degrees outside? But summertime is a whole different story. You can find me perched up in a salon chair at least two times a month, getting the “deluxe” pedicure where they scrub my feet extra hard. Chipped polish peeking out of your wedges or sandals is a huge beauty fail. And let’s not even discuss sandpaper feet. Do yourself a favor and give your feet some beauty love. And whether you prefer doing your nails at-home or in the salon, take note of these six tips below—they’ll prolong the life of your pedicure:
1. Bring your own polish to the salon if you can. I’ve seen some sad (and very old) looking polishes sitting on salon shelves. Salons also constantly add thinner to their bottles to make them last longer, which can warp both the formula and color. Plus, if you bring your own, then you have that color if you need to fix a nail. Try Inglot’s 02M Breathable Nail Enamel ($14)–it allows oxygen and moisture to get to the nail, plus it’s long lasting.
2. If you can, try to avoid wearing socks and closed-toed shoes for at least 8-12 hours after your pedicure. Although your polish might appear to be dry to the touch, socks and shoes will royally screw up your pedicure. Trust me, i’ve done this plenty of times. It’s not pleasant.
3. If you happen to nick your polish while it’s drying, fix it right away. If you don’t, your nail may start chipping. Just dab a tiny bit of cuticle oil over the nick and smooth it out. Do not, repeat DO NOT try and correct it with polish remover unless you’re an expert. Otherwise you’ll probably mess up the entire nail and have to start over again.
4. Apply a layer of clear top coat every other day to minimize the chances of the color chipping. Coating the ends of the toenails will also create the edges from chipping, which is where the chipping process usually begins. I’ve been obsessed with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat ($8.99) for a while now, it dries ridiculously fast and people always ask me if I have a gel manicure when I use it.
5. BE PATIENT. I know this is super hard for most of you, but it’s a must. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rushed out the door thinking I’d be okay, only to find that my mani and pedi was all messed up once I got home. Whether you’re in a salon or giving yourself a pedi at home, allow them to dry for at least 20 minutes. Consider it a great excuse for a little break!
6. Use cuticle oil. Jane Park, founder of Julep, recommends using cuticle oil daily. It will keep your pedicure looking fresh and will help your paint job last longer. Their Essential Cuticle Oil ($18) is one of my must-haves, and for many good reasons. It’s easy to travel with and features a rollerball application, so you can slather it on your cuticles without making a mess.
Do you have any secret long-lasting pedi tricks? If so, we’d love to hear about them.