Start off with clean nails with no oily residue on them like lotion etc. This will ensure a smooth application and longevity of your manicure.
The first essential, that I used to overlook, is a good base coat. The most beneficial thing that I found is that the base coat actually helps to protect your nails from staining and discolouration so that when you are not wearing crazy colours your nails do not look sickly and yellow.
China Glaze base coat does a decent job in lengthening the life of your manicure as well as protecting your nails from discolouration.
The second must-have is a good top coat. I did not realize how much of a difference a good top coat makes until I tried one! Seche Vite dry fast top coat is one of the best top coats I have tried.
It is also one of the fastest drying top coats and gives you a thick, high shine, “I just got a gel nail manicure” look instantly. In the first 10 minutes it dries the top of the nail polish and in the next 20 minutes it cures everything.
Of course it would depend on how many coats of nail polish you have on. I usually do a base coat, two coats of polish and then the top coat. Depending on the nail polish brand and how long you take in the shower etc., the manicure lasts a good 4-5 days, sometimes even a week before it chips.
The only down side to this coat is that it gets thick and goopy very quickly, making it hard to work with. But the end results outweigh this aspect for me.
The third and final recommendation for DIY nails is to have something that will make the edges clean and crisp looking so that it looks like you just visited a salon! I love the Essie corrector pen. I dip the tip into nail polish remover and clean up whatever mess I have made while applying the polish.
There are a bunch of other companies that make a similar product but I have not used any of them. You can also go to Sally’s and buy disposable manicure sticks that you can use to immediately clean the mess.
Hope this was useful! And have an awesome day!