What's your method for preventing your polish from chipping?

What’s your method for preventing your polish from chipping? Share!

Zoya’s Color Lock System works well for me, but I don’t have a huge issue with polish chipping on me.

Thanks to Genevieve for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.


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Nikki Avatar

I was using Zoya’s system for about a year and it was really good (MUCH better than Essie, OPI, and Seche Vite), but I recently started using Lippmann Addicted to Speed top coat and a nail strengthener as a base coat and it’s doubled my wear time before chipping. I’ve got awful nails–they’re thin and bendy and really prone to chipping/peeling–so they really put nail polish formulas to the test. With the drugstore brands I mentioned, I used to get 1-2 days of wear before chipping, sometimes less. With Zoya base and top coat, I could usually get 2-3 unless the nail color was a particularly bad formula. With the Lippmann top coat and the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength I’m using as a base coat, I can get 5 days from a good nail color formula such as Zoya, Lippmann, or one of the heartier OPIs.

I also make sure not to let my nails grow too long, gently buff away any flaking bits before applying polish, and reapply my top coat every couple days as needed.

Genevieve Avatar

Yes I have HUGE problems with my nail polish chipping after one day. No matter what I do – I have adhesion base coats, 3 coats of polish, a top coat etc. All very time consuming. It can really put me off nail polish altogether! I hate the look of chipped nail polish. I think I will have to get Zoya’s Colour Lock system for myself.
Thank you for the advice about Lippmann’s Addicted to Speed top coat. I’ll try that too. My nails sound like your nails.

Nikki Avatar

Yay, I’m so glad someone with similar problems saw my post. 🙂

I was so skeptical about the Lippmann top coat before using it. It seemed ridiculous to pay $20 on a CLEAR NAIL POLISH and honestly i thought it was a little bit absurd that it existed at all. lol But then of course I got desperate and tried it. Assuming the bottle doesn’t dry out or something, I definitely plan on repurchasing it.

Bonnie Avatar

I have HUGE issues with polish chipping on me. Nearly all of them do- low end to the highest end and everything in between. Once in a while I’ll find a shade that wears for up to 4 days on me without chipping, and thats more than most! Christine- what’s your secret to get it to not chip? Do you spray your nails with alcohol first or file them a certain way? I am super envious of your polish wear time. 😉

summerblue Avatar

Christine, since your so adept at doing your nails, I’d love to have your review for the new Ciaté
Geltox Starter Kit over at Sephora that makes any nail polish into a gel manicure.

If you read the review by TwirlyGirly, she goes into great detail on how to make this system work successfully.

Have a great day!

manu gmz Avatar

I give myself three days to do my nails. The first night, I apply the base coat and first polish coat, the second night I apply the second coat of polish and, optional, the third night I apply the top coat. I think it works because each layer gets to dry properly.

patsyann Avatar

When I use Zoya polish I also use their top coat and that works really well for me. In fact, their polishes almost never chip on me. When I use another brand of polish, I use a Revlon bottom coat, then the polish coats…one or two depending…and then I put on one top coat of Out The Door and 24 hours later, I put on another coat of Out the Door. My polish holds well for a week or more without chipping.
It is that second application of a top coat that does the trick .

Melissa R C Avatar

I use Zoya Anchor or Ridge filling base coat, I have the Color Lock system, but don’t I don’t use the top coat or the fast drying drops. I use Glisten and Glow HK Girl fast drying top coat. I change my nail polish quite frequently, I normally get tip wear not too much chipping. Once I use my fast drying topcoat, there are no issues. If I want my polish to last more than a couple of days, I generally use a light, skin toned polish. Yummy Mummy from butter London, Flynn from Zoya, OPI Tickle My France-y and the like.

Jessi Avatar

For me, I think it has a lot to do with applying the polish in very thin, even layers and sticking to polishes where I can use one or two coats and not more. I use the Zoya base and top coat, but I also like Orly top coats and Orly and OPI bases.

Also, I think polish formulas are getting better – easier to apply, better self leveling, faster drying, and that helps a lot. China Glaze has really improved in the past year, and so has MAC and Orly.

Rachel R. Avatar

Sally Hanson No Chip Acrylic Topcoat is awesome and tough as rocks. Any good quality polish and top coat, making sure to paint the top edge of the nail with the color polish and the top coat. Wearing inexpensive, disposable food service gloves when doing chores that could damage my nails.

Meghan Avatar

My favourite part of a lazy Sunday routine is a mani/ pedi on myself! I can typically wear polish on my fingers for 5-7 days, and toes for ions it seems, haha (usually 3-4 weeks). First I’ll remove whatever leftover polish I may have on fingers or toes (whatever remover you prefer, I don’t mind acetone myself). Then I like to shower (hands up for evening shower-ers!), followed occasionally by a foot file. Then I’ll groom the nails, push back the cuticles softly and while using a cuticle salve. Then I’ll wash my hands and use the polish remover again. I’ll use a clear base coat, the ones I go between are OPI’s Nail Envy (which I get tired of and sometimes find makes my nails more brittle after taking it off) and their natural nail base coat. Then I’ll do 2-3 thin layers of polish depending on opacity, followed by seche vite quick dry top coat – which I’m loving. Once things are all dry I apply hand cream generously, concentrating on the nails. I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s definitely a nice wind-down for the weekend!

Jennifer A Avatar

Nail polish always, always chip on me within a day or two. The only way I have been able to get an extra day is by using CND Stickey and Zoya top coat together. I’ll only use Seche Vite top coat if the polish is not 3/5-free. Zoya and Seche Vite do not get along.

Aida Avatar

I change it often :). Everything chips in me, no matter what brand I’m using. But I change my polish every couple of days anyway, so it doesn’t really matter to me.


ROCK base coat and top coat!!! Together the prevent chipping, adds a brilliant shine, and you’ll just get tired of your color, and change it, rather than having to change it. I can buy 2.00 dupes, and used with ROCK products, manicure lasts for 10 days to 2 weeks. Excellent product!!!! For the record, Sally’s sells both products, or get on Amazon for less than 10.00 ea. I use base, 2 coats of color and top coat, one right after the other, and use lamp. You Don’t HAVE TO use the lamp, but it dries quicker…AND NEVER, EVER, HAVE TO TOUCH THEM AGAIN! PROMISE!!!!!

charlotte Avatar

After removing polish wash hands with soap, then dip each finger in alcohol. Let dry. Orly bonder basecoat, Seche Vite topcoat. Let nails dry completely (fully cured) then apply lotion or oil.

Ruth Avatar

Wipe bare nails with the Sea Breeze astringent toner sold at Sally Beauty in the white bottle. It’s a slightly different formula from what’s sold in drugstores. My polish is locked on. By day 4, there may be a little tip-wear, or not. Before discovering this, my polish barely lasted a day. And I had tried rubbing alcohol and other astringent products, but nothing works like the stuff in the white bottle!

Emm Avatar

There are two things that has helped my nail polish from chipping and I am RN who washes her hands often.

1. Before I apply my base I file my nail base. Yes seems harsh but do it lightly and your nails polish will stay on longer.
2. Everyday I put on a coat of clear nail polish. Currently I am using Orly Bonder which has been good so far.

I use Essie first base coat, which I like, and some Sally Hansen one as a top coat. But I have tried many brands(OPi/Essie/zoya/cnd/etc) of top coats and none so far has produced better results than another.

Nikki Avatar

Aside from a product recommendation (Lippmann Addicted to Speed) that happened to pan out for me, reapplying base coat is the single best nail polish advice I’ve ever gotten. Someone here on Temptalia mentioned it once, and it is a total game changer.

Johnna Quick Owens Avatar

I like China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat and Fast Forward Top Coat, although I’ve gotten good results from Essie’s top coats or Julep’s Freedom top coat. I think what is important is to carry the products over the tip of the nails, make sure to start with a clean base, and use rubber gloves when cleaning and doing dishes! I swear water is the enemy when it comes to my polish, and since I do my dishes by hand, it was killing my manicures. But wearing gloves helps immensely now. Although, to be honest, I have so many colors of polish and I tend to get bored with the look after 4 or 5 days, so at that point I am removing it whether there is any wear or not. In fact, that is what I am getting ready to do in the next hour, I have been wearing an oxblood polish this week with a matte top coat from Julep, and I am ready to switch over to something more festive and glittery!

Brooke Avatar

I file each nail in one direction. If your nails have ridges on them, the polish will pool up causing areas to not dry evenly under. Causes the chipping. Use a ridege filling polish base coat. Or buff the tops of your nails for a smooth finish. Let each coat of polish dry for 10 minutes. Less is more. So thin coats and slowly build up. If you take your index finger and press it flat against the free edge and pull at an angle down and out, you’ll notice a layer of polish come off. That is pooled polish that causes chipping on the finger tips. When doing this you’ll seal your free edge and remove excess polish.

Helene Avatar

I have really bad nails, they peel and are quite weak. I’ve found Formula X works very well for me, though it doesn’t work with all my polishes, mysterym that 🙂
I can now wear the polish for up to six days, with other brands the most has been three days.
I will look into the the Lippman top coat, thanks for the tip.
I really liked this question as I have had, and still have chipping problems.

Brenda Avatar

I haven’t found a surefire method yet, but I did find by layering a regular (non quick dry) top coat UNDER the quick dry top coat it really helped with chipping and peeling. It kind of created a buffer against the agents in the quick dry that I have found to be the culprit in a lot of my problems. (chipping and peeling after less than a day, esp with Zoya+ non Zoya quick dry top coats)

Also, I try to make sure my nails get a swipe of remover right before I apply to ensure no oils/creams linger to inhibit the polish adhering properly.

Heather F. Avatar

Base coat (OPI Nail Envy or CND Stickey), polish (wrap tips), Seche Vite (wrap tips). Wears like iron! (Oh wait… Iron rusts and then kind of flakes off. Wears like stainless steel!)

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