Long Lasting Manicure

Welcome to Manicure Monday!

 I wanted my first post to represent me in the most perfect way. What better way to represent myself than by what I am most known for, my manicures!

I want to share with you the steps you can take to achieve a long lasting manicure.

First things first – preparation,

Listed below are the materials you will need:


Paper Towel

100% Acetone

Cotton Rounds

Small bowl

Warm Water

Anti Bacterial Soup

Nail File

Cuticle Remover Solution

Cuticle Pusher

Cuticle Nippers

Nail Buffer

Nail Dehydrator

Polish (color of choice)

Orange Wood Stick

Top Coat

materials for mani

You can find these materials or equivalent materials at any drug store, grocery store and or beauty supply, nail supply store.

Lets Get Started!

Step 1:  By using acetone and a cotton round, remove previous polish.  I like to use 100% acetone due to the fact that is works extremely well, and saves you a lot of time and fuss, especially if your previous polish choice consisted of glitter or a color like red, or black. Another reason I like to use 100% acetone is that it is super drying. Using anything that dehydrates your nail plate during the manicuring process will help with the longevity of your next polish application.

polish removal.jpg

Step 2:  Trim and shape your nail with a nail file of small to medium grit. The smaller the grit the less abrasive it will be to your free edge, the larger the grit the harsher and more rough the file will be. If you have a lot of length and would like to go shorter, I recommend using nail clippers first. Its also important to soak your nails first if you plan to use nail clippers, this will make your nail plates soft and easier to clip, also preventing splitting past the desired length. There are many shapes you can create.

nails shapes .jpg

I prefer a more natural shape by going with what I like to call SQUOVAL, straight across and square tip, but round on the edges.

shaping nails .jpg

Step 3:  Apply cuticle remover to your cuticles.  Cuticle remover is a chemical solution that softens your cuticles making them easier to push up while also eating away any dead skin stuck to your nail plate.  You can always use a bit of lotion if you prefer a more natural and budget friendly approach.

cuticle remover.jpg

After applying the cuticle remover or lotion to your cuticles, place your hands in a bowl with warm water and a little bit of soap, for approximately 30 seconds, this also helps in softening your cuticles making them easier to push back.


As my hands are soaking, this is where I take the time to decide on a polish color if I haven’t already decided. Sometimes my options are endless…


Step 4:  After drying off your hands and wiping away cuticle softener and remover, take your cuticle pusher and gently push them them up.

push up cuticles .jpg

Step 5:  Now the next step is probably the most dreaded step of all manicure procedures. Clipping your cuticles!

Its scary yes, if you don’t know what you are doing. I am the queen of cuticle clipping.  The key to clipping your cuticles is clipping only what is dead! Some easy ways to know if the skin is dead are; if the skin is hanging off, white, hard or thick; If the skin or cuticle appears to be red, pink or soft, its live tissue and should be avoided when clipping.

clip cuticles .jpg

Step 6:  Time to buff your nails! Use a fine grit buffer. When buffing your nail beds you are taking off any dead layers and stained layers of nail.  Buffing your nails also creates a clean and smooth surface for polish application and eliminates any sharp edges. The smaller the grit the more smooth they will be. I prefer small or fine grit, which allows for a smooth and clean surface but still leaves them a little rough for the polish to adhere too.  You don’t want your nails to appear shiny in this stage.  A none grit buffer will make your nails shiny and slick, leaving nothing for the polish to adhere to.

buff nails.jpg

Step 7:   The next two steps are taken to help with the longevity of your polish.  The best way to prevent polish from chipping or peeling is creating a DRY and CLEAN surface.  After buffing your nails you will have nail powder residue, this needs to be washed off.

Step 8:  Now that your nails are clean, they need to be dehydrated.  Using a cotton round and more acetone, wipe your nail plates.  You will know they are dehydrated when they turn white and have no shine! To take the dehydration to the next level and aid in a long lasting polish application, I recommend using a nail dehydrator, known as nail prep or bonder.  Nail dehydrators are a chemical solution that is used as a drying agent.

dehydrate .jpg

more dehydration .jpg

Step 9:  Now in the next step, most would use a base coat, but not me! Base coats are primarily used as a protective barrier between your nail plate and polish, essentially helping to prevent the polish from staining your nail plate.   I find that when I use base coat, my polish doesn’t last nearly as long as when I skip it.

no base coat.jpg

Step 10:  Polish Time!!! After you choose your polish color, its time for the 1st application.

The best polish applications consist of 2 color coats and a topcoat.  The thinner the color coats are the better! It will dry faster and last longer.

Keeping away from your cuticles and edges, apply your 1st coat to one hand and then the other.  After you are finished with your second hand, apply the 2nd coat to your first hand and then move on to the other. If you have a bit of length, don’t forget to polish the tips of your free edge. By doing this it caps the layers and prevents chipping and peeling, along with the fact that when the polish starts to wear off it will wear off on the tip first.


seal and cap .jpg second coat .jpg

If you get polish anywhere you don’t want it, use an orange wood stick to clean up.  Even the professionals make mistakes!

clean up.jpg

Step 11:  Time for topcoat! After your polish applications have air dried for about 30 seconds, apply one layer of topcoat, and also sealing your nail tips. I recommend using an extreme shine topcoat.

top coat .jpg

Step 12:  Along with Step 7 and 8, Step 12 is very crucial for a long lasting manicure!

Through this whole manicure process it has been very important and our main focus to dehydrate the heck out of your nails!  Although it’s important for dry nail plates, it is even more important for conditioned cuticles.

Leaving moisturizing your cuticles, as the last step will insure in a long lasting manicure.

Moisturizing your cuticles at the end is KEY, but not to be forgotten! I suggest waiting until the topcoat air-dries for about one minute before applying cuticle oil or lotion.


Moisturizing your cuticles will prevent hangnails and skin around the nails from peeling, along with adding shine to your manicure.

Keeping your cuticles moisturized all week is a great and easy way to maintain your beautiful manicure.  As the days go by the more dry and brittle your nails and polish become, inevitably causing nail breaks and polish chipping.

Keeping cuticle oil at your nightstand or by your toothbrush will help you remember to moisturize them on the daily!

Mainly my point is that once your polish is dry, it is very important to put back as much hydration as you took out.  All in all, creating a beautiful, healthy, and long lasting manicure!


I hope you enjoyed this post and found the information helpful and inspirational.

Looking forward to the next Manicure Monday!

Stay Tasty Ladies!

Xoxo Alisha




4 Comments on Long Lasting Manicure

  1. ashley s
    January 7, 2014 at 3:16 AM (4 years ago)

    My cuticles are always cracked. I’ll have to pick up some oil. Thanks for the tip!

    • Alisha
      January 8, 2014 at 5:10 AM (4 years ago)

      Ashley you can always use the olive oil from your kitchen in the mean time!

  2. Nicolle
    January 8, 2014 at 3:48 AM (4 years ago)

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I can speak from experience…your manicures are amazing…and long lasting…that’s for sure!

    • Alisha
      January 8, 2014 at 5:09 AM (4 years ago)

      Thanks for stoping by!


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