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“Howww am I already chipping?” you ask of your four-day-old manicure. Well, hand-washing the dishes is one culprit.

Here, 11 things that are destined to wreak havoc on your perfectly polished nails.


1. Weak Salon Polishes
There’s a reason some ladies BYOP (bring your own polish) to the salon. Manicure places are notorious for adding thinners to extend the life of old enamel. Instead: Find your signature shade, invest in a bottle and use it every time.

2. Quick-Dry Topcoats
Of course, we’re all in a hurry, but quick-dry topcoats and sprays contain acetone and other solvents that cause nails to dry out faster--and then chip, peel and break. An alternative: Ask for cuticle oil. It’s still a barrier but one that won’t dehydrate and weaken your nails.


3. Shaking the Bottle
Shaking creates air pockets. Air pockets create bubbles. Bubbles create chips. Ask the manicurist to roll the polish bottle between their hands instead.

4. Paying After Polish
Captain Obvious over here, but trying to wiggle your debit card out of your wallet after the paint has been applied rarely ends well.


5. Typing
Now to the everyday offenses. If you like your nails on the long side, there’s a good chance your computer keyboard is slowly ruining the tips. As a precaution, make sure you paint all the way down your nails (and even underneath) to seal the ends.

6. Fishing for Your Keys
Blindly rummaging through your purse is a surefire way to cause dings and cracks, even if your nails are bone dry. Keep your keys in an easy-to-reach spot (like that tiny inner zipper pocket) all by themselves. Your spare bobby pins and mint tins can find a new home.

7. Washing the Dishes
Heavy scrubbing on a greasy cast iron pan is a recipe for chips. Learn to love those rubber gloves.


8. Applying Perfume
It may sound silly, but the alcohol actually breaks down your polish. All we’re saying: Aim carefully when you spritz.

9. Or Hair Spray
Same rules apply. But here you could opt for an alcohol-free version.

10. Or Hand Sanitizer
Duh. This stuff could pretty much strip deck varnish.

11. Or Sunscreen
This is the only time we’ll say it: Avoid sunscreen…near your nails.

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