So you decided to treat yourself to a little self care ritual and paint your nails. You are doing something nice for yourself! Taking time to pick the perfect shade, maybe for a specific event or just to celebrate the coming of a new season by switching from darker winter tones to a brighter, lighter spring shade. An old battered manicure, now replaced by a fresh, shiny, smooth set. But after the last coat you can't help but think to yourself, how long will these even last? Nothing is more frustrating than smudging a new look, or noticing shortly after that the polish has chipped. Now all you can focus on is the bald spots where a glossy, fully colored nail once resided. As the inventors of green flash, a long lasting and non-toxic gel alternative, this is one of the main focuses of our work – providing polishes that wear for up to 10 days and resist chipping, while maintaining their shine AND being formulated with non-toxic and completely vegan ingredients. Being experts in the industry, we also know that nail health and prep, as well as daily habits, have a huge impact on polish wear time and that is why we want to share all our tips and tricks to help your manicure ritual have a lasting impact!
Weak, brittle nails that are poorly prepped will not hold polish!
Make prep a priority
Preparing your nails before a manicure is often overlooked as it may not seem as exciting as seeing your chosen shade in action. However, prepping can arguably be considered the most important factor for the wear time of your polish.
Start by carefully pushing back cuticles and clip them if necessary. This is important as painting over cuticles can cause polish lifting since the varnish will not be adhered to the nail but instead to the surrounding nail skin. File in the direction of growth to avoid splitting and buff the nail surface in the same direction to open nail scales for receiving polish as well as offering an even surface for a smooth application.
Assure your nails are clean and dry before you start with polish, but avoid washing your hands as leftover moisture can affect application. Instead, take a polish remover (for example: the gentle and hydrating Green Flash acetone-free polish remover) and degrease the nails, removing excess natural nail oils that can prevent polish adhesion.
It’s all about that Base
Base coats are important as they create a sticky surface for varnish to attach to, while protecting the nail fibers from staining or yellowing. In addition, many base coats are formulated to treat the nails with nutrients and vitamins that improve nail health.
To learn more about base coats see our recent blog post and check out our diagnostic tool to find out what nail type you are and get recommended a base coat treatment.
**Note: Base treatments are to be used under Green polishes and NOT under Green Flash, however using in between Green Flash manicures can be a great way to give your nails a nourishing break.
Time to apply
To avoid air bubbles, do not shake polish bottles (We know, we have all done it!), instead gently flip bottles upside down and right side up a few times to mix if separation has occurred.
Check your polish to assure the texture is fluid and not dry or chunky. Over time, polishes can lose their liquidity consistency resulting in a thick, dry polish that will be harder to apply and can start to flake once dried. Check out our Green Flash Diluent to adjust thickened Green Flash formulas for a smoother application and longer life for your polish.
Apply varnish in 3 swipes, starting from the base of the nail to the tip: One in the middle followed by one on each side. Finish by capping the edge of the nail so there is a less likely chance for polish to lift or chip on the ends. Clean up any polish that may have gotten on the nail’s surrounding skin with a remover or a Green Flash Corrector Pen before flashing under the LED lamp (Green Flash) or allowing it to air-dry (Green) between coats.
Top it off
Finish off your newly manicured nails with a top coat to seal in color, protect from chipping, and provide shine (or a matte finish with our Matte Top Coat).
Practice healthy hand habits
To ensure the longest wear time for your manicure, it is important to pair your prep and application routines with a continued awareness of how daily habits can affect your nails.
Avoid harsh chemicals and Gel products ☠️ :
Contact with, or long exposure to, solvents, cleaning products, or alcohols can degrade polish, not only decreasing wear time but also affecting the overall appearance and shine of your manicure. Practice using gloves as it is not only better for your polish strength but also for your hand health as well. In addition, like mentioned at the beginning of this article, weak, brittle nails will not hold on to polish for a very long time. Constant application and reapplication of traditional gel products will significantly weaken the nail plate by causing deterioration to the keratin in the nail fibers. This is mainly due to the acetone which is necessary for the removal process. The natural oils and protective layers of nourishment on your nails are completely stripped, and each time the nail becomes weaker and weaker. Instead, opting for Green Flash LED polish (The vegan, plant-based, non-toxic gel alternative) will significantly improve nail health as it serves as a nourishing and protective barrier on the nails while providing color and shine, all in a long-lasting formula which gives you a brilliant manicure for up to 10 days. Green Flash, instead removes in only one minute with our Green Flash acetone-free remover, which is gentle and hydrating for your nail fibers.
Avoid hot water💧 :
It is important, especially after a new manicure, to avoid washing hands for up to about 2 hours, as water can soften or slightly displaced polish which will affect dry time and staying power. Be aware of situations where your hands and nails will be subjected to hot water for long periods of time, for example when washing dishes or taking a long bath. When possible, use gloves and stick to lukewarm or slightly cool water if you want the best results.
Your nails are not tools! 🛠️:
Try to avoid common bad habits when it comes to using your nails for things they are not meant for! Use scissors instead of prying open packaging, wear gloves when gardening and avoid picking teeth or skin (your skin will thank you for this too!).
Keep calm for a while 🧘♂️:
Take time for your nail color to dry, set and harden before engaging in your normal everyday activities like reaching in the bottom of your bag for your keys. This is especially true for classic nail varnish like the Green line which will need time to air dry, whereas Green Flash will dry immediately under the LED lamp.
Your overall health includes your nail health ! 🌱:
The last piece of advice… which is helpful for all aspects of your life: Keep a healthy and balanced diet! Healthier nails hold color better, and nail health is linked to your overall health, as deficiencies in your levels of necessary vitamins and minerals will manifest as decreases in your nail health.
- B complex vitamins like biotin are necessary to prevent ridges in the nail plate.
- Essential oils like omega-3 keep nails from cracking.
- Deficiencies in folic acid or vitamin C will increase risks for hangnails.
- Calcium is important to prevent dry, brittle nails.
Foods high in calcium, iron, B-vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants such as spinach, kale, blueberries, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, lentils and oats are the great for nail health as well as overall health.