If only once you applied that final layer of top coat, your pedicure would last forever—or at least through the remainder of the summer. Alas, toes polished for sun and fun often experience a lot of, well, sun and fun, as well as sand, dirt, heat, water, air—you name it, exposure to the elements is ruining that pedicure. However, you can help prolong its beauty with a few of these expert tips.
Nix the Soak
OK: We can hear the collective groan. Isn’t kicking back, relaxing and soaking feet in a pedicure chair part of the experience? Yes—but keeping feet in water for an extended period of time causes the nail plate to expand. Once it dries, the nail plate will contract back to its original size—and if you apply polish prior to the nail plate drying (say, during a pedicure service), you risk that contraction compromising your polish job, which could lead to premature chipping.
Prime Those Toes
Prior to laying down the base coat, be sure to sweep away dirt and oils with a nail dehydrator or acetone. A primed nail will increase polish adhesion greatly.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Lotion isn’t simply for hands; feet need hydration, too—especially if you’re skipping around town in flip-flops or sandals. Moisturized skin helps prolong polish adhesion—not to mention, a well-lubed foot looks more presentable than one that’s craggy!
Try a Gel
If polish simply won’t last on your tootsies, opt for a gel pedicure. Gel withstands rough surf and sand better, and it tends to last longer on the whole, making it an especially smart choice if you’re going away on an extended vacation with no real access to a pedi pro for polish touch ups.
Top Coat It Frequently
Re-upping top coat will not only extend lacquer color, but will also keep toenails glossy. Apply a fresh coat every few days, and be sure to seal your application by running the top coat across the free edge of the toenail to keep chips at bay.
Conceal Until You Reveal
What’s the point of having a pedicure if you have to keep it under wraps? While we agree, if you want to eek out an extra week or two from your pedi, wearing socks or close-toe shoes when not flaunting your toenails will keep wear and tear at a minimum.
While fingernails enjoy the benefits of cuticle oil, toenails sometimes get the short end of the oil stick. However, the same goodness cuticle oil gives to digits—hydrated cuticles and surrounding skin—is just as important for toes. Stated simply: Moisturized cuticles, even on toes, are less prone to hangnails and cracking—two triggers for nail chipping. Lube up, and your pedicure will last longer!
written by Karie Lynn Frost