The Secret to a Flawless Manicure


If you’ve ever left a nail salon and been less than pleased with the outcome, you’re not alone.  Nail shops are as ubiquitous as McDonalds these days and many times, they feel just like a fast food joint as most manicurists want to get you in and out of their chair as quickly as possible so they can start on their next client. While it’s convenient to get your nails done cheap and quick, you may leave feeling unsatisfied.  From afar, your manicure may look perfectly lacquered and shiny, but upon closer inspection, you may notice that your nail polish doesn’t cover the entire nail bed (the rounded sides can be difficult to reach!) or you end up nicking them on something and will inevitably live with the imperfection for a week or two.

So what can you do to fix your manicure or preserve it so you don’t have to head back to your corner nail salon sooner than you have to?  Celebrity manicurist, Michelle Saunders has a few nail tips to help you maintain your manicure, in-between manicures.

 Dealing With Nicks

Don’t leave before your nails dry!  The most important thing you can do is not do anything for 10 minutes after your nails are polished and the top coat has been applied.  Waiting 10 minutes will set up your manicure and you will not only prevent nicks, but your manicure will last three times longer than if you just leave right away.

Your Polish Chips Prematurely

If your nail polish chips within a day or two after your manicure, your nail plate wasn’t prepared as well as it could have been, or the polish you used wasn’t a quality polish.  Make sure your nails are completely dry before applying polish.  A good manicure should last at least five days.

 Wear Gloves

You don’t have to be a hand model to wear gloves (Seinfeld anyone?). If you do anything rugged — if you’re moving boxes or washing the dishes — it’s important to protect your hands with gloves.

 Moisturize Daily

Right after you wash your hands, apply lotion.  Washing your hands with soap and water dries out your hands and cuticles, and that can cause hang nails and prematurely make your hands look old and unsightly.  Foregoing the lotion after washing your hands is the equivalent of washing your hair with shampoo and foregoing conditioner.  Cuticle oil should also be used daily.  Keeping your cuticles hydrated prevents hang nails and dry skin that can cause nails to break easily.

 Carry A Nail File

If you break a nail, file it as soon as you can so the jagged end doesn’t catch on anything and break further up the nail.

 Top Coat

After a few days, apply a top coat to make your nails shine.  A top coat will refresh dull polish and keep your manicure going for a couple more days.


Michelle Saunders is a celebrity manicurist in Los Angeles.  Her roster of clients includes, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Beckinsale, Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman.  She’s also the go-to manicurist on the West Coast for dozens of high-fashion magazines including Vogue, Elle, W, Harpers Bazaar, and Vanity Fair. Along with being a manicure superstar, she’s also on the coveted Beautyfix Panel.


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