A woman painting a client's nails

Top 9 No Chip Manicure Tips

After spending hours painting your nails to perfection, the last thing you want is to wind up with chipped nails just one or two days later. Lucky for you, we have some great tips for giving yourself an at-home manicure that will last. Trust us—it’s not as hard as you may think. 

We all love the fantastic results of a salon manicure. They are perfect, shiny, and seem to last twice as long as an at-home manicure. Well, not anymore. We’ve cracked the case on at-home manicures! 

By following these simple tips, you can get salon results at home that don’t chip and last longer than a salon manicure. Get ready for some stunning results that will have all your friends wondering who your amazing new nail tech is. 

It’s All In The Prep

If you are having trouble with chipping after an at-home manicure, then you may need to reevaluate how you prep. No, the filing, buffing, and cuticle care you get at the salon aren’t just for show. Each of these steps is vital to creating a manicure that looks great and lasts. 

While it may be tempting to just paint on some polish and call it a day, trust us, this is not the way to get a lasting manicure. You need to adequately prepare your nails and cuticles before painting; it’s essential to minimizing chipping with all types of manicures. But don’t worry! It’s much easier than it looks. Just follow these simple steps. 

What You’ll Need To Prep

  • Nail file
  • Acetone
  • Buffer
  • Cuticle pusher

1) File Your Nails

There are a couple of tricks when it comes to nail filing to prevent chipping later on. First things first, make sure your nails are dry, as filing wet nails can cause unwanted splitting. 

Next, choose what shape you want to go for. While there are many popular shapes, the best one for a manicure that will last is a classic rounded shape. Nails with sharp edges are more prone to chipping. 

Opt for a soft nail file. Nail files that are coarse or made of metal are too harsh for natural nails and cause rough edges that will lead to nail breakage or uneven edges. 

Once you are ready to file, simply move the file in one direction over the nail, starting at the edge and rounding towards the center. Whatever you do, do not file back and forth! This can cause slightly rough edges that are more prone to chipping later on. Avoid this as it’s a classic at-home error. 

2) Skip The Soak

After you have filed your nails to your desired length and shape, the salon typically soaks your nails. However, if you are prone to chipping, you should skip this step. When you soak your nails, your cuticles and nail bed expand. If you apply your polish after soaking, your polish may chip later on when your nails return to normal. Applying your color to dry nails is the best way to prevent the dreaded chip. 

3) Push Back Your Cuticles

After filing, use a cuticle pusher to gently push back your cuticles. If you have a hangnail, feel free to trim it now, but there is no need to trim your cuticles. Cutting your cuticles is not actually necessary and can lead to cuticle tearing, dryness, and even a minor infection—no thanks! So ditch the cuticle trimming and just gently push them back instead. 

4) Buff Your Nails

The best way to keep your manicure from chipping is to create a smooth surface free from natural oils before you apply your color. Use a buffer to gently smooth out ridges and remove oil buildup on the nail’s surface. 

A soft four-sided buffer block is perfect for gentle buffing. By buffing your nails, you will create the ideal surface for an at-home manicure that will last. The smooth surface allows the color to grip tight and prevents chipping. Buffing will also improve your nail’s natural appearance, making them brighter and shinier.

5) Wash Your Hands

Now that you have shaped and tidied your nails, wash your hands to remove any lotions or natural oils from your nails. This will prevent your manicure from chipping and peeling later on. 

6) Apply Acetone To Your Nails

Ever wonder why the nail tech applies nail polish remover to your nails even when you don’t have any polish on them? This is because they are removing any of the natural oils that are on your nails. This is the secret to a long-lasting manicure. It will help the polish grip your nails better and stay put longer. 

Pick Your Polish Wisely

With so many nail polish options, it can be difficult to choose which at-home manicure is best for you. You can go the classic route with plain old polish, channel your inner nail tech with a gel kit, or try something easy and durable like a dip powder. 

All of these options will leave you with a shiny manicure, but not all polishes are created equal when it comes to avoiding the dreaded chip. Still, no matter which type of manicure you choose, we’ve got you covered with anti-chip tips. 

7) Tips For Dip Powder

When it comes to giving yourself a salon-quality manicure in the comfort of your home, no polish is easier to apply or lasts longer without chipping than dip powder. A dip powder manicure is revolutionary for the at-home nail game. This fantastic nail product creates gorgeous salon-quality manicures that last three to six weeks with absolutely no chipping! 

You can easily apply this type of manicure in just 15 minutes! The results are stunning and are by far the least prone to chipping compared to other kinds of polish. If you follow all of the prep tips above before applying your dip powder, then you are sure to have a perfect chip-proof manicure. The most important prep for a dip manicure is buffing and always applying to dry nails. 

Give dip powder a try with NailBoo. It will change your at-home nail game forever.

8) Tips For Classic Nail Polish

If you are using classic nail polish, then chipping will eventually happen. It’s inevitable, but there are some ways to help your polish manicure last a bit longer. Oftentimes we don’t go the extra mile when giving ourselves manicures at home. We skip the base coat and all the prep and go straight for the polish. This is why at-home polish manicures don’t last very long. 

The best way to prevent chipping with regular polish is to use a base coat and topcoat. These steps will help your polish last just a bit longer and give them that salon-quality look. Still, a polish manicure won’t last you more than a week, so if you’re really going for longevity, you should try a dip powder. You will be surprised at how much easier it is to apply than regular polish. 

9) Tips For Gel

If you have the equipment needed to do a gel manicure at home, then it can be a great option for a long-lasting manicure. Gel doesn’t last as long as dip powder, but it is more durable than traditional polish. 

The main way to keep this type of manicure from chipping or peeling is to make sure you remove all oils from your nails before applying the gel. You should always use acetone before beginning your color application. 

Are you thinking about investing in the whole setup for an at-home gel manicure? This type of manicure is popular at salons for its long-lasting effects. However, you will need a bulky UV light to activate the polish, which can be pretty expensive. Basically, that means that dip powder is going to be your best option of the three. This great alternative is even more durable than gel and doesn’t require a UV light, making it easier to apply at home. Dip powder also is less prone to peeling than gel polish.




Wrapping It Up

The most effective way to prevent chipping with any type of manicure is prepping for success. If you file your nails, push back your cuticles, buff, and de-oil your nails before applying your manicure, you are sure to have less chipping. 

Remember to choose your type of manicure wisely. If you are someone who doesn’t have time to constantly repaint your nails, then definitely opt for a more durable option like dip powder for amazing long-lasting results. 

Now that you know all these easy tricks for getting a no-chip mani at home, you can be a nail pro! Get ready for stunning salon-quality nails from the comfort of your home. 



Home Manicure | Oprah

17 Manicure Tips That'll Keep Your Nail Polish From Chipping | Glamour

How To Give Yourself A Manicure At Home Like An Expert | Refinery 29

Caring For Your Cuticles | WebMD

How To File Nails | WebMD

5 Tricks to Make Your Mani-Pedi Last Longer | Women's Health Mag

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