Entertainment Fashion & Style How to Prevent Your Polish from Chipping Share PINTEREST Email Print Carol Yepes/Moment/Getty Images Fashion & Style Makeup Accessories Tops & Sweaters Dresses Skirts Jeans Pants Do It Yourself Shoes Skincare Advice Hair Fragrance Tattoos and Body Piercings Kids and Teens Bumps & Babies Learn More By Julyne Derrick Julyne Derrick Writer B.A., Communications, Texas Luthern University American University Julyne Derrick is a freelance beauty writer specializing in mature skin. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 05/23/19 We've all had it happen: after spending an hour doing our own nails or spending a small fortune at the salon, we look down and realize our beautiful manicure has a chip. It's frustrating and annoying to see all that hard work (and money) go to waste. But with these simple tricks, you can extend the life of your manicure and prevent chips. Always Start with Clean Nails When you get your nails professionally done, they always clean your nails with nail polish remover even if you had no nail polish on them. Why? Because natural oils will keep the nail polish from actually adhering to the surface of your nails. So, always swipe each nail with remover before applying polish. The Cutex Nail Polish Remover is perfect for this. Prep Nails with a Base Coat Polish will adhere best to nails prepped with a base coat like OPI Natural Nail Base Coat. Thin Coats, Not Thick Coats Thinner coats have a lower risk of smudging than thick coats. Apply three thin coats of polish rather than two thick coats. This cuts down on drying time between coats and there's less chance of bubbles brewing on your nails if they don't dry in time. Additionally, use a high-quality nail polish like Essie or OPI. Polish Your Nail Tips When polishing, polish the tip of the nail as well. This helps cut down on chipping. Shimmery Colors Chip Less The little particles of sparkle help polish cling to your nails, so if you like a shimmery finish, this is yet another reason to go for it. Apply a Clear Top Coat Topcoats extend the life of your manicure. You can also use the base coat as a top coat. Brush the top coat on and around the edges of nails as well as an extra seal against chipping. Try Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat. Allow Proper Drying Time Nails need about 45 minutes of drying time before you handle objects, like your keys or your shoelaces. Once dry time is over, submerge nails in cold water, then apply lotion. This allows for a slippery surface until nails are completely dry. For pedicures, wrap toes in plastic wrap if you're wearing shoes other than flip-flops or sandals. Keep a Top Coat Handy To prolong the life of your manicure, apply a topcoat every other day.