NAIL TIPS: How To Get Your Manicure To Last Longer

A close friend of mine recently opened a Nail Salon and of course I’m over there fairly regularly; apart from the fact that *DUH* I’m like a kid in a candy store, I actually go in to help and keep her company from time to time. One thing I found interesting is how people really just don’t care about the state of their natural nails. They just come in for nail enhancement manicure after nail enhancement manicure, and the ones who have naturally long nails get an acrylic overlay (wrapped), because that’s what a nail tech out here advised them to do *holds head in hands*.

This issue of Nail Techs out here advising people with long nails to “wrap them” is something I will discuss in greater detail in another post, but when I first moved back to Nigeria it was the EXACT same thing I was told, and it severely damaged my nails. Like I said, story for another day! Now let’s get back to my observations…

I also find that people prefer gel manicures over regular manicures, because they last longer. The complaint is that regular nail polish starts to chip away 2days after you get it done, but I beg to differ! I LOVE a regular manicure and I typically always have my natural nails polished using regular polish; unless I’m reviewing or testing out a new manicure technique. And over time I have come to understand that a LOT of factors come into play as pertains how long a regular manicure lasts.

Factor 1: PRODUCTS

The quality and type of products used play a huge role in how long the manicure will last. For a regular manicure you’ll need: Dehydrator, Base coat, Nail Polish & Top Coat.

  • Dehydrator: essentially Alcohol, and this is used to remove oils & moisture off the nail bed and have it properly prepped for base coat. This is also important especially if you got a wet manicure/pedicure right before. The alcohol will help absorb the moisture on the nail bed.
  • Base Coat: This is the first layer of polish that goes on. I prefer to use a base coat infused with calcium or protein as these help strengthen my nails. I have shared my personal favourite base coat and where to buy here on the site quite a few times: here, here, here & here
  • Nail Polish: Good quality nail polish, typically two coats should be applied.
  • Top Coat: One of the gripes with regular polish manicures is how long they take to dry! Which is why I always ALWAYS have my Seche Vite Fast Dry with me. With or without a fast dry topcoat, you’d need to be patient & careful while you allow the polish dry. It takes regular polish 24hours to completely dry, so when we say ‘dry’ at the salon, we really mean ‘dry-to-touch’. I got a manicure over the weekend, and they used a regular topcoat by Orly called ‘Polish Shield’ and my nails were dry-to-touch within 15minutes. So PATIENCE is key.

Factor 2: Lifestyle

What do you do with your hands? If your job or lifestyle requires that your hands a almost always wet, then obviously your manicures won’t last as long. Swimming, cleaning, washing dishes, laundry, typing, writing, etc. The frequency at which you do regular mundane everyday things will affect your manicure. I just want as many people as possible to stop thinking that regular manicures are magic. If I scrape my finger against like the door knob in my car, most likely it’ll chip. So one can never be too careful, but you can be mindful.

Factor 3: NAIL TYPE

Regular polish manicures tend to last longer on Acrylic Nails than on Natural Nails, go figure… I’m not sure why this is the case but I believe an expert will be able to shed some light in this.


The skill of the person applying the polish also affects how long it will last. You see some nail techs apply polish and it’s just streaky and all over the client’s cuticle, obviously that manicure won’t last long. Also the nail tech needs to be able to control the amount of product that’s being applied, obviously the more layers you apply the higher chance of it peeling off. Nail Polish should typically be applied in two coats, anything more will most likely begin to chip/peel sooner. Some may argue, well what of sheer colours. Well, they are ‘sheer’ for a reason and the idea is for some of your actual nail to show through the polish, applying more layers to make it opaque just won’t work. Rather go for a more opaque formula.

That’s it, those are my the 4 factors I always bring up when talking about regular nail polish and why they aren’t ‘magic’. I’ve had this post in my head for years, and regularly talk about it with people who always argue that gel lasts longer, which is why they’d rather damage their nails sorry, go with that option. Happy to have it all written down now so I can refer people to it.

Hope you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments.


Hey Everyone! My name is Ez and I'm the Founder & EiC of BeautyInLagos. From inception (Jan 2012), I'd been the sole Editor of the entire BiL platform. In May 2018, I decided to to expand and build an Editorial team which includes in-house Editors as well as external Contributors. So from time to time, you will see posts from these awesome people, please show them love!

You can find me:

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Ez is the Editor-in-Chief & Founder of BeautyInLagos. She is an Entrepreneurial Influencer who is passionate about sharing all there is to know about beauty.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. Moyin
    January 15, 2019 / 11:59 pm

    Your nail posts are my favorite!! Really enjoyed this read because I also fell prey to the wrap your long nails trend,, learnt the hard way and it’s back to regular Polish manis for me

    • BeautyInLagos
      January 16, 2019 / 11:36 am

      Yay! Thanks for reading, I’m glad you liked it. And also thanks for dropping a comment too, it’s really encouraging.
      Since I published this post and shared some tips on Instagram, quite a few people have also shared how they were ‘advised’ to wrap their nails. I’m going to share more about that, in another post, and why that is TERRIBLE advice!

  2. January 20, 2019 / 12:16 am

    Quite original concepts. I will try them out and give you feedback on my view

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