Make Your Salon Mani Last

Are you a chip off the old block when it comes to paying for salon manicures? If you're like most women, there's nothing more satisfying than looking down at your hands and seeing your fingernails lined up like 10 perfectly polished soldiers. In fact, you're willing to pay a price (usually about $12) for just that. Of course, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Unfortunately, the reality of even the most meticulous manicure is that it may last you a few days... if you're lucky. On the flip side, there are measures you can take to add some shelf life to those freshly done digits. Here are some tried-and-true secrets to your protect your newly painted nails. For starters, keep it short -- your nails, that is. Have your nail technician cut back your nails. Longer nails break and chip which will send you running right back to the salon. BYOB -- bring your own bottle. When you bring your own polish to the salon, you know that thinner isn't added to the product, another additive that reduces the duration of your manicure. While you're shopping for polish, consider another good investment -- cuticle oil. Pick up a bottle from your drugstore and apply it to your cuticles. This will keep the area moisturized and looking up to par. Within a few days of getting a manicure, apply a clear topcoat which will help prevent chipping. Don't use nails to peel, rip, scrape or open anything. That's what household tools are for. When doing the dishes, gardening or doing other chores, use rubber gloves to protect your manicure from damage. One lesser-known fact -- hot water will get you in just that with your manicure. It causes the polish to peel and lift off the nailbed. So avoid exposure to extreme temperatures.