How To Keep Nail Polish From Chipping: Step-by-Step

Red Nails

Few things in life are as deeply frustrating as your nail polish chipping days—or worse, hours—after application. 

Luckily, our pros know a thing or two about how to keep nail polish from chipping. So whether you're a nail art aficionado or just love a quick, fresh coat of color, our step-by-step guide is here to change your nail game by getting you salon-worthy, longer-lasting results from home. 

Peace out, gouges and chips. Say hello to picture-perfect nails that wear on and on with our super simple tips to protect your mani.

Why Does Nail Polish Chipping Happen?

So many factors can contribute to nail polish chipping, from air bubbles caused by an on-the-fly application to skipping the protective sealing of a good top coat. Smooth nail beds make for smooth polish adhesion, so forgetting to file and buff can end in chips sooner than later. And you probably know from firsthand experience how ordinary activities like exposure to water and harsh chemicals can also weaken the polish, putting you on the road to Chip City. 

That’s why we’ve compiled these strategies that prevent polish from chipping. Now long-lasting, chip-free manicures are only five steps away:

How To Keep Nail Polish From Chipping

Preventing Nail Polish Chipping Step-by-Step

  1. Nail Preparation
    • Trim and shape nails to your favorite length and style.
    • Gently buff the nail surface to create a smooth canvas.
    • Clean nails well to remove any oils or residue.
  2. Application Techniques
    • Apply a quality base coat to protect nails and improve adhesion.
    • Use two thin, even layers of polish.
    • Seal the color with a top coat for shine and durability.
  3. Sealing and Drying
    • Check that nail edges are completely sealed with base coat, polish, and top coat.
    • Allow nail polish to dry completely between each layer.
    • Finish with a quick-dry top coat to speed the drying process.
  4. Maintenance Tips
    • Avoid prolonged exposure to water and chemicals.
    • Wear gloves when doing chores that can damage polish.
    • Use a cotton swab with a drop of nail polish remover to blend and repair smudges.
  5. Regular Care

Does a Base Coat Prevent Nail Polish Chipping?

Yes! Incorporating a base coat into your nail care routine is a savvy way to extend a mani. Applying a base coat before polish creates a smooth, even surface for the color to adhere to. The base coat also acts as a barrier between your nails and the pigments in the polish, helping to prevent staining and yellowing. This key step not only prolongs your manicure but reduces the odds of it chipping. 

Should I Use a Nail Strengthener To Stop Nail Polish Chipping?

Slipping a nail strengthener into your routine can definitely counteract chipping. Nail strengtheners are formulated to improve your nails’ health and resilience, making them less prone to peeling and breakage. Since nail strengtheners help prevent and repair damage, they contribute in a roundabout way to more durable manicures: The stronger your nails, the stronger your base for nail polish that adheres better and lasts longer. 

Does Acetone Cause Nail Polish Chipping?

Acetone, a common nail polish remover, can contribute to nail polish chipping. Because it’s such a strong solvent, acetone can strip nails of their natural oils, leaving them dry, brittle, and prone to chipping and peeling. Luckily, a solution is close at hand: Try a non-acetone remover instead.

How Does Nail Hydration Impact Nail Polish Chipping?

Nail polish is less likely to chip from moisturized nails. Well-hydrated nails are more flexible, resilient, and strong. So by using cuticle oils or nail creams on the regular, you improve the overall health of your nails, which enhances how well your polish sticks.

Chip Prevention Made Easy

At the end of the day, keeping nail polish chip-free calls for a combo of good nail care and consistent maintenance.

By following the chip prevention advice in this guide—nail health, the right prep, using base and top coats, avoiding chemicals, and practicing prevention—you can seriously extend the life of your manicures. With a tiny bit of effort, you’re rewarded with beautiful, flawless nail polish for longer than you probably thought possible.

And of course, achieving perfect nails is way easier with Londontown’s expert solutions and range of pro-level products, from effortless nail concealers to vibrant, beautiful polishes curated for you into on-trend collections

This is the summer to find out what it feels like to have ten perfect tips all week long.



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