Long-Lasting Beauty Solutions
Easy tips for prolonging the life of your manicure, hair color, and makeup.
- If your polish color chips: Heavily pigmented browns and beiges tend to chip faster because their high levels of iron oxide and titanium dioxide crowd out the chip-preventing agents known as film formers. "Sheer pearlescent shades deflect chips best because their flatter, more uniform particles provide fewer areas of vulnerability," says Ernie Curtis, color cosmetics senior manager at Avon Products, in Suffern, New York. If you are wearing a brown or beige polish, you can help protect it by applying a long-wear topcoat.
- If your polish looks dull: "Household cleansers, makeup remover, hair products, and sunscreen break down a polish's finish," says New Orleans dermatologist Patricia Farris. Whether you're cleaning the house or coloring your hair, wear protective gloves and use implements when possible to keep your nails far from shine-dissolving agents, Farris advises. Additionally, the problem could be that your polish is outdated. "The original hue, drying time, shine, and length of wear degrade over the life span of a polish," says John McCook, a cosmetics chemist and the CEO of Discovery Partners, a product-development firm in Frisco, Texas. "Purge polishes every six months," says McCook. "Discoloration and color separation that can't easily be fixed by shaking are cues that a lacquer has spoiled."
Products to Try
- Orly smudge fixer ($8.50, amazon.com). Brushed over nicks, dents, and smudges, it instantly smooths them.
- Essie Shine-E ($15, ulta.com). A high-gloss topcoat that brightens a dull manicure and makes it last a few more days.
- Sally Hansen Mega Shine Extended Wear Topcoat ($5, at drugstores). Dries polish and keeps it intact for eight days.
- Opi Start to Finish Base & Top Coat ($10, amazon.com). Fortifies nails and adds shine.