1. Be nice
We ask our hands do a lot for us, and we don’t treat them nearly as well as the rest of our body. Lippmann says to take cues from your skincare routine: always moisturize after washing, apply SPF, and exfoliate regularly.
2. Polish Lightly
“One of the biggest reasons manicures don’t last is we put too much on and then we don’t wait for it to dry.” Ideally use three strokes to cover each nail, but no more than five. And never, ever shake polish bottles. It’s a surefire way to get air bubbles into the formula.
3. Breathing Room
Myth: Your nails need time in between manicures to breathe. “Nails are dead,” Lippmann says. “They don’t breathe.” What they do need is a base coat, which keeps pigment from staining nails, and a topcoat, which protects your polish.
4. Go colorful
Lippmann says now is the time to try bold (sometimes wacky) colors. After all, she says, “it’s nail polish — it comes off.” Her current love is Across the Universe, a fabulously sparkly aqua that was inspired by the planetarium at New York’s Natural History Museum.
Fans are constantly sending Lippmann pictures of color combinations that they’ve dreamed up, some that she herself would never try. “Layering colors helps you get more bang for your buck.” There are no rules but generally you want to put lighter polishes over darker ones, and shimmery or iridescent colors on top.