Ask Lex

Ask Lex: Best Long-Wear Manicure

Reader: I hate getting my nails done and then having it chip two days later. It’s important to me that my nails are always looking good. What are your suggestions for a manicure that will last?

I feel ya sister! There is nothing worse than spending an hour at the nail salon just to have your manicure look terrible in what feels like seconds. All because you decided to do the dishes, or wash your hair, or simply exist in the world. That is why I stopped doing regular manicures entirely. What has worked best for me is dip powder.

What is dip powder?

Well it’s exactly what it sounds like. The nail tech applies a clear base then dips your nail in a powder. They repeat the process until your nails have a hardened layer and then seal it with a top coat.

I always opt for the clear dip powder, but there is also the option to use a colored powder. If you go the colored powder route, then you’re done once they put on the top coat. When you choose clear, then ideally you would use a regular or gel polish on top of the dip powder.

Why dip powder and not gel?

Dip powder can last up to three weeks and gel lasts two. Being frank, they’re both damaging. So in regards to the health of your nails, one is not better than the other. In both situations your nails are not breathing.

It is really a case of picking your poison. If I am going to go this route I might as well choose the option that lasts longer. Also, dip powder allows for the option of giving my nails a refresh with a polish change in between fill ins.

Does it really last three weeks?

Yes! Occasionally I’ll have a broken nail tragedy, but for the most part it’s a three solid weeks of great nails. As previously mentioned, I get polish changes to keep my nails looking fresh. I usually do this at the halfway point between fill ins.

*Lex answers questions on Tuesdays, all submissions are anonymous.

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