Now, as I’ve mentioned before, my true beauty passion is definitely my nails. I’ve read hundreds of articles and seen tonnes of YouTube videos on this topic, but none of them really have the same routine as me (although this might be because most nail bloggers change their polish at least 3 times a week!)

Sometimes, we can’t paint our nails as often as we’d like to; and traditional “long wearing” treatments like acrylic and gel can be expensive and damaging to your nails.

So, what’s a girl to do? Check out my guide to keeping your mani on for a whole week – with normal polish.

I promise you, the pictures in this post were taken exactly seven days since I first painted them, with no touch ups. 

As you can see, close up there’s a tiny bit of tip wear on the ends of my points, but for the most part, it’s totally still there.

How to prep your nails for a week long mani

The number one factor in having chip-free nails is not having nails that bend. I used to have paper thin, bendy nails that wouldn’t grow more than a millimetre away from the end of my fingers, but now my nails are strong and long. The only way I manage to keep them that way is giving up nail scissors/clippers/biting – I only file my claws with a crystal file now, and I do it every time I paint them.

Crystal files I love:

OPI Nail Treatment crystal glass file – £6.95 I love this because it’s really thin and you can get all the awkward bits, BUT that does make it incredibly fragile. My boyfriend’s sat on two of these and snapped them 🙁

Leighton Denny small crystal nail file – £12.50 this is a lot sturdier than the OPI one, and it comes with a much nicer case.

Usually I’d advocate going for a cheaper option, but these are worth the extra money, cheaper glass files just don’t work as well, and go blunt. BTW proper crystal files last FOREVER, you can even put them in the dishwasher. It’s 100% worth getting one if you want pretty nails! (Don’t buy “OPI” files from eBay, either. I got a fake!)

Other prep tips

If you do have bendy nails, try and get your hands on a nail strengthener, I’ll show you how I use mine later! I didn’t notice a difference when I took Biotin (a common nail supplement), but YMMV.

The final thing you should do before you start painting is swipe your nails with pure acetone – you can get a little bottle for £1 from B&M or Poundland. A lot of nail polish removers will have moisturising properties which leave a layer of grease on your nails. That oil gets between your bare nails and the polish and stops it sticking as well, which is why sometimes your polish might peel off in sheets.

Put any hand creams or cuticle oils on AFTER your nails are completely dry.

How I paint my nails

I’m going to tell you the type of product I use, then list a couple of my favourite ones, but feel free to swap in anything you already have!

Firstly, get everything you could possibly want out ready – have your phone and the remote next to you, go to the toilet, have a drink of water, all before you start.


Layer 1: nail strengthener, I’m using Nail Tek 2, but I’ve had good results with OPI Nail Envy and Nailtiques formula 2.

Layer 2: normal base coat – I use the ridge filling one from Poundland.

Layer 3 & 4: two thin coats of colour, my favourite brands are Essie, Nails inc and OPI.

Layer 5: top coat – my one and only is Seche Vite.

Once you’ve done that, let your nails dry for a couple of hours. Chill out in front of Netflix or something. And voila! Your nails should now be good for a whole week.

One final extra tip if you really need your nails to go the distance is to paint your nails a lighter colour, it shows up chips a lot less.

Do you have any other ways to make your nail polish last that aren’t on this list?


How to stop your polish chipping and get a long lasting manicure at home on natural nails. No lamps or special equipment required!

2 thoughts on “How to (actually) make your nail polish last a whole week

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