Tips To Make Your DIY Manicure Last Longer

DIY manicure

Make your nail polish last longer.
Photo: Getty Images

With so many new nail polishes to choose from, we have no shortage of inspiration for doing an at-home manicure every week. What bugs us is that after only a few days, our nails are chipping, peeling, you name it. So we spoke with Julep founder Jane Park who gave us her amazing (and super easy!) tips on making a DIY mani last (at least until we absolutely NEED to try a new shade).

Always Start With Polish Remover
Even if you don’t have polish on your nails, prep the nail bed with polish remover before applying your first coat. “Using nail polish remover, even on clean nails, is key to removing natural oils and [ensuring] a long-lasting mani,” Park says.

Nix The Chips
Park recommends sealing the top edge of your nails with polish. “When you are painting your nails, run the brush across the edge of your nail first, before polishing the length of the nail to make sure the edge is covered.”This is where water can enter, creating a division between the nail plate and polish. “I like to use my thumb to hold down the fat pad of the finger — to have more unencumbered access to the free edge. Do this with base, color and topcoat.”

Julep Winter Collection 2012

Julep Winter Collection 2012 ($34,

Keep It Cool
“Always apply polish in a cool, breeze-free area.” Drafts and heat can make your polish dry unevenly.

Don’t Rush
Wait three to five minutes between coats to ensure nails are fully dry.

Master Matte Polish
“I love the suede textured nail trend right now, mostly because they are so forgiving, fast-drying and easier to apply on the go,” Park says. “Just remember that due to the unique formulation, matte colors are not as long-wearing as other polishes.” To make matte last, she suggests skipping the base coat and applying the polish directly to the clean, dry nail bed.

How often do you change up your nail color?