1. Trim your nails short.
If you have an active lifestyle and spend a significant amount of time barefoot or wearing open-toed shoes, you increase the risk of chipping your nails (and polish!). “The shorter your nails, the more likely your polish will stay put,” says Jodi Shays.
2. Ask for a “dry” mani and pedi.
Sure, soaking your feet and hands feels great, and it helps soften cuticles so they’re easier to trim. However, water also softens your nail bed, which means your nail plate will expand a little, says Shays. “If your manicurist polishes your nails after they’ve expanded, the polish is more likely to chip when your nails shrink back to normal size.”
3. Add another layer of clear topcoat two days later.
Reinforcing the clear coat gives your nails extra shine and extends the life of your polish—helping to prevent chipping, says Shays.
4. Use a thick, super-hydrating moisturizer.
Keeping your hands, feet, and cuticles moisturized will help prevent the cracking and flaking your manicurist worked so hard to slough off, says Shays, who uses Isun After Sun Mask to soften her clients’ cuticles. “It is so healing and hydrating,” she says. “It’s my favorite thing in the world.”