Style · Time Management

How I Make My Manicure Last All Week

Tips for making your at-home manicure last all week!

I love having my nails painted! To me, it’s the perfect finishing touch to a pulled-together look. I don’t have the time or the money for salon manicures but I’ve gotten the hang of doing my nails at home. It takes around 30 minutes to paint my nails each week, and I like to make it last as long as possible. I can usually make my manicure last an entire week – and you can, too!

#1. Prep your nails before painting them.

My nails split really bad, so I make sure to trim, file and buff them before I apply the base coat. Using a buffer block like this one gives me a smooth surface and blends any chipped edges so they are ready for the base coat.

#2. Use a good, fresh base and top coat.

I love the Sally Hansen Diamond Shine base and top coat. It’s less than $5 at Target and works so well! I like to apply the base coat to clean nails before my two coats of polish and follow with a top coat – leaving two minutes in between each layer. It’s really important to put a thin layer of top coat around the edge of your nail in order to protect it. Also – make sure your base/top coat is fresh. As soon as I notice that it’s leaving little air bubbles on my nails or that it’s slightly thick coming out of the bottle, I replace it with a new bottle.

#3. Protect your nails!

This is obvious, but you still have to be careful if you want your polish to last all week. Dish washing gloves are a must! I wear them when I load the dishwasher, wash dishes or clean the bathroom (if I’m using a sponge). Use scissors – not your nails – to open things. If I see a nail is about to chip or split, I apply a thin line of my top coat over that nail and let it dry.


My nail polish never looks perfect by the 6th or 7th day, but by following these three guidelines it still looks presentable. I do have to patch up chips every so often, but I’m always able to make it last until I have a chance to start all over with a new color.

Do you paint your nails often?

I would love to hear your tips for making polish last all week!

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19 thoughts on “How I Make My Manicure Last All Week

  1. I was a nail biter for many years but about five years ago the desire to bite my nails just left me.( I give all the credit to God as it was a habit I could not seem to break on my own.) I guess from all the years of nail biting, my nails are not very strong and tend to split and break so I just keep them trimmed and polish free for the most part. If I have a special occasion I will go and get a gel manicure..French of course as it is my favorite. I think painted nails are pretty too but when they start to chip and peel, it drives me crazy. So plain for me for the most part. And I have to say your nail shape is very pretty, mine not so much!

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  2. I love Seche Clear and Seche Vite for base and top coat. The Seche Vite is a quick dry that really works. I like it for doing my little girl’s nails too. It keeps polish on nails and not everywhere else. 🙂 Their Rebuild is great too.

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  3. I just don’t polish my nails as being a nurse. We were never allowed. I do love a manicure but skip the polish part! My friend is my buffer block. I love a smooth shiny nail and find they stay nice and don’t split with care. I use the blue and white block. Also love Mango cuticle oil from Sally’s. It keeps my nails and cuticles moisturizer really nice. Love polish on my toes for summer though. I’m all in for a nice berry polish!

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  4. I used to think I had to buy expensive nail polish to make it last, but I’ve learned that a brand name base and top coat are really what matters. As long as all your polish isn’t too old, it will last! I’ve even taught myself to do white tips using a brush with acetone.. it just took some practice!
    I love OPI base coat, but I’ll spend a little more on an expensive fast dry top coat. (I paint my nieces’ nails often, so I get my money’s worth!)
    Thanks for the tips.. I really need to invest in dish gloves!!

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  5. I enjoyed reading each of your steps. I like to have my nails painted, but rarely take the time to do them. I bet I’d do it more often if I had a better system like yours that helped the polish to last longer. I picked up dish washing gloves recently but rarely remember to wear them. Thanks for sharing your tips 🙂

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  6. Thanks for the tips Whitney! Since I have stopped having shellac nails done I find my nail polish just doesn’t last. I need to buy some gloves! #Partyatmyplace

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  7. Great tips. I’m sending this over to my daughter, the nail queen. She is always looking for ways to extend her color. Thank you for posting this week to my new linkup party. The support means so much.

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