I always get questions about this, so now I’m going to address how to have a long-lasting manicure!
Start out with dry nails! You’re obviously not going to paint your nails while they’re soaking wet, but you don’t want any oils on them either. When I paint my nails, I put lotion or cuticle cream on, but afterwards, I put polish remover on a Q-tip and wipe down each one (you could also use white vinegar for a substitute). The polish can’t adhere as well to the nail when there is any type of substance between the nail and the polish, which is why you end up with bubbles and chipping less than 24 hours after you’ve painted them.
Thin coats and middle-side-side. When I’ve watched my friends paint their nails, they do thick coats and it ends up being gooey and streaky. It drives me insane. When you paint yours, do thinner coats! Sure, you’ll need to do 2-3 coats (as you should, if necessary), but they’ll be less streaky and your drying time will be less. And just in case, when you paint them, do a stroke down the middle, then do the sides. It makes it even and less streaky on the nail. The less strokes, the better. When you do too many, it gets bubbly and messy.
Top coat! Sometimes when I’m painting something quick, I don’t always show myself putting a top coat on, but I always tell you to. Why? It’s what’s going to keep your manicure on longer and be shinier. You need a top coat that’s not super thin — it has to be kind of, I don’t know, “juicy”? Is that appropriate… But basically it needs to be able to create a protective layer. When you put it on, the top coat should drop on the nail, and you should be “lightly pulling” the top coat down. You shouldn’t even be brushing it on; use a light touch! If you don’t, the polish will smear. And if you do designs enough, you should know that black never ceases to smear. This (along with letting your polish dry completely prior to top coating) will prevent that from happening! You also want to “seal” your polish by covering the whole nail AND top-coating the edges. This is key to preventing tip-wear so early.
To summarize, this is what I go by: dry nails, thin layers, protective top coat. Hope this helps!