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The Pros Know: how to do a chip-free manicure at home

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In our new series, stylist.co.uk is asking the beauty industry's leading experts for their definitive answers to our burning beauty questions. Here one of the world's leading manicurists, and Best Beauty by Stylist award winnerDeborah Lippmann, reveals her fail safe tips for doing a chip-free manicure that will last for days at home.



Question: how can I do a chip-free manicure that will last for days at home?

  • First and foremost, it's important to use a quick drying base coat. Most women assume you just need a top coat, but it is the base coat that adheres to the nails, protecting them and preventing staining.
  • The fastest way to do a manicure right is to apply a super-thin base coat, followed by two coats of lacquer and a thin top coat. Use three strokes per nail and wait for one minute in between each coat to assure setting for each.
  • Most women make the mistake of trying to do thicker coats of polish so they get the colour as it appears in the bottle in one application. This is one of the most common mistakes, which actually deters the whole process and has the reverse effect. Women end up over polishing their nails, slowing down the entire process and making them more prone to chipping.
  • When in a hurry, I always recommend doing your nails as the last activity before heading out the door. Get dressed and makeup ready, pack your bag in advance and lay your keys out on the counter. That way once your nails are done, you won't mess them up by putting on your outfit or makeup - you can just grab your keys and walk out the door, giving them extra time to dry en route to your appointment. Freshly polished nails and getting dressed is an accident waiting to happen.
  • If you are in a major rush, try grabbing a sheer colour as you may be able to get away with just one lacquer coat. Highly pigmented colors, like a bright red, definitely need two coats. But don't skip out on your base and top coats.
  • Lastly, try adding an "oil dry" finish as the last step. For nails that aren't fully dry, this will help to best keep nicks at bay.

Deborah Lippmann's Gel Lab Pro Colour Nail Varnish won the Best Beauty by Stylist award for Best Chip-Free Nail Polish, and was named as one of the 10 Beauty Hero products from the awards. You can buy the polish for £18 here.

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Illustrations: Eleni Sofroniou 

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