@Ninteenthchance: Ha! I’ve got this one! lol. So I usually change my polish 2-3 days anyway, but I’ve gotten caught up wearing the same polish for a week plus on some ocassions. I definitely have some suggestions to help you out!
1. Number one thing to a manicure lasting long is a good base coat (and top coat combination)! I saw a PP mention Zoya Anchor. Haven’t tried it myself because I already have a base coat I love (why mess with a good thing?), but same as her, I’ve heard great things about it. I personally use a treatment as my base coat, and it’s the Nail Tek Intensive Therapy II.
2. Make sure to remove absolutely all oils from your nails before you apply your base coat/polish. Use a pure acetone nail polish remover and just quickly swipe it over your nails before applying your base coat.
3. Apply at least two layers of polish. I usually use 2-3 coats depending on the polish. But if you use only one, even if the polish is super opaque and looks just perfect after one coat, I find that it will chip almost immediately.
4. While I’m huge on preaching that expensive brands are NOT better than cheaper brands when it comes to polish, I do find that certain brands as a whole tend to chip a bit more on me. Essie and OPI are two offenders for me. I’ve heard some people have chipping issues with Zoya, but honestly, they’re one of the longest lasting polishes on me personally. Try several polishes in different brands to see if you can pinpoint a brand that just doesn’t do it for you.
5. Older polishes that are NOT 3Free can tend to last longer. There’s a lot of research about the Big 3 (DBP, formaldehyde, and toulene), so it’s up to you if you want to try to use older polishes.
6. You really need to find a good top coat to go along with a good base coat. It needs to be a combo and make take a bit to figure out. I will NOT use a non-quick drying top coat. I’d go crazy if I had to wait for my polish to dry. I’ve been using Poshe top coat for a couple of years. Prior to that, I was big into Seche Vite, which is also very popular. I stopped using it because of the fumes. It is not 3Free, and it is probably one of the most offensive, strong smelling polishes I’ve ever used.
7. Wear gloves when you do chores/water related chores (washing dishes is the main offender), and do not use your nails as tools! With the water thing, I shower without gloves or anything fancy, but when I wash dishes or I’m going to be cleaning something with water, I always wear gloves. And using your nails as tools not only help protect your polish, but it protects your nails. Just be aware that if you do activites that pick at the tips of your nails (opening soda cans, scratching a label off something, etc.), you’re weakening them and causing your polish to want to flake off.
8. Don’t apply polish right after you get out of the shower or when your nails have been exposed to water for an extended period of time (swimming, washing dishes without gloves, etc.).
9. This isn’t so much a tip to help keep polish on, but it’s helpful for your nails in general. Find a product that helps strengthen your nails and wear it all the time. Like I said before, I absolutely love Nail Tek Intensive Therapy II. It keeps my nails looking great, healthy, and strong. I wear it ALL THE TIME. Even if I don’t have polish on (which is a RARE occasion), I still make sure I have my Nail Tek on.
Hopefully these tips help you out! If I think of any more, I’ll post them!