Manicures make a statement and give your overall appearance a polished, put-together look— but maintaining your nails can be a hassle while traveling.
You shouldn’t have to worry about keeping up with the polish during valuable time away from home. For those flaunting shimmer nail polish at the beach or warming up polished hands by the cabin fire, these quick tricks help preserve that eye-catching mani on-the-go.
1. PROPER CUTICLE PREP
Manicurists often soak nails before applying polish, but doing so causes the nail to expand and then contract after the paint dries. Ask whoever works on your hands to use cuticle oil instead of water to soften your cuticles. If doing your own nails, use the oil to push them back without cutting them. It’s well worth the effort— and if ynou continue applying cuticle oil every night to keep them from drying out, your nails will stay healthier and happier.
2. PROPER NAIL PREP
Buffing your nails before applying polish helps the base coat last. Be sure to also use pure acetone or white vinegar on cotton swabs to remove the dusty residue after buffing. The dust will mess with polish adhesion if your nails aren’t clean.
3. APPLYING THE POLISH
Once your nails dry, apply a sticky base coat. Make sure to use two coats on the tip of your nails, where they’re more prone to chip. Avoid painting your cuticles with polish, as they naturally lift paint from the nail.
4. PROTECTING THE POLISH
The best defense against unwanted chipping comes with the all-important top coat. To keep your nails perfectly painted while away from home, reapply a high-gloss clear coat every day. When done properly and often, this layer shields your polish against unwanted chipping and cracking due to anything from scuba diving to sledding. One extra swipe across the tips before painting the whole nail provides an extra barrier against typing, texting, and other common actions.
For those flying far, pop a top coat polish in your checked luggage (or a properly sized liquids bag for carry-ons). If you don’t want to spend too much time on it, consider quick-dry top coats for fast-acting polish protection.
5. CHEMICALS AND MOISTURE
Pack gloves if planning on working with your hands. Moisture from gardening soil or harsh chemicals in dish soap could dry out your cuticles. Gloves provide an extra layer of protection that safeguards your nails to damp cuticle dangers.
It’s always better to wash your hands with mild soap rather than hand sanitizer for similar reasons. The chemicals in sanitizer could break down your top coat and dry out your nails.
6. IN CASE OF CHIPPING
File your tips down and seal them with another top coat. If the chip is still visible, you can add a super thin french tip. No one would be any wiser!
With the right preparation, protection, and caution, your polish can last your whole vacation (and more!). For the more adventurous, consider more durable manicures such as shellac or gel polishes. Whichever way you paint, you can relax during your well-deserved time off while flourishing your favorite colors.