Beauty Without Fuss

Monday 15 October 2012

How To Make Your Manicure Last Longer

There is very little worse - from a beauty bloggers point of view - than a nail varnish that lasts around 30 seconds on the nails.  It's heartbreaking to discover that the beautiful shade you've just splashed out on has all the lasting power of a soap bubble.  Especially if it's an £18 soap bubble ...

Anyway, there is help, and you can make those ephemeral polishes last longer.  It's a technique called the "Sticky Sandwich", and it's very simple.  I didn't originate this technique, btw, but I use it all the time, because I'm lazy and can't be bothered doing my nails more than once (twice if it's a special occasion), in a week.

Anyway, here goes, you need a sticky basecoat, and the irritating polish of your choice, I chose these:

Orly Bonder, which is a rubberised basecoat, and Chanel Le Vernis in Barcelona Red. 

Important Note: 

You must make sure that whichever basecoat you use is a STICKY one, ie, one that feels tacky to the touch no matter how long you leave it to dry.  A couple of brands make them, make sure they say something like "high adhesion" or something on the label.  Orly Bonder just happens to be the best one I've found, and this is my second bottle.  The first bottle lasted over a year of more than regular usage and cost me about a tenner from eBay - nowadays you can get it from the newly-revamped BeautyBay for a more bargain-friendly price of £7.95.

Do not be tempted, whatever you do, to use one of those two-in-one Top and Basecoat jobbies, as they dry too shiny for this technique to work. Normal basecoats won't work either, you need something that gives a texture to your base to give your chippy-polish something to grip to.  This is the only time you'll be told that a nail product being stick is a good thing, by the way ... anyhoo, I'm digressing.

Okay, let's make a "Sticky Sandwich"

Step one:
Apply a coat of your sticky basecoat, and leave it to dry.

Step two:
Apply a coat of polish, leave to dry for a couple of minutes

Step three:
Repeat steps 1 & 2.

Step four (optional):
Seal with glossy topcoat.

It's not a complicated technique, admittedly, but it's one that does work.  The sticky basecoat allows both coats of polish to have something to cling to, and this means it takes longer for the colour to chip off the nails.  Even the chippiest of polishes will last at least two-to-three days after this treatment, and if you try it with better polishes, you should get at least a week of wear.  (Ignore anything you read about Orly Bonder giving you up to two weeks of wear, btw, it's total marketing guff).

So, what do you think?  A £7.95 investment that can give your crappy old polishes a new lease of life? Would it be worth it?

The Fine Print: Products are purchases, but the technique is shamelessly stolen from a bazillion other (mainly nail-centric) blogs, I wish I knew who'd invented it, so I could give due credit.  Links are for informational purposes only, and are not affiliate links.
This post: originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are reading this anywhere other than, then this content has been stolen.


  1. Does this stop the Seche Vite effect where entire fingernails' worth of polish flip off into your soup after 2 days?

  2. Given that nothing lasts more than 24 hours on me, this is definitely something I am going to try. I have some Orly Bonder already - I picked up a mini, in Boots for a fiver, earlier this year. A good way to try it, though being a mini, I do keep losing it around the house. Thanks for sharing the tip. x

  3. Interesting, thanks for the tips, I'll be sure to try them out.
    Things I personally find that keep the mani immaculate for longer:
    a. opt for an oval rather than squareish shape. The corners of your nails are the first to get chipped
    b. do an extra horizontal strip of topcoat just at the tip of your nails to seal the polish in. Then the next day, apply another topcoat to the entire nail.
    My polish can last about 10 days if I do those

  4. thanks for the tips, I'll be sure to try them out.
    things I personally find make my mani last for longer:
    a. opt for an oval shape rather than square-ish when filing your nails. The corners are the first to chip
    b. do an extra horizontla strip of topcoat along the tips of your nails, which seals the polish in. Then the next do, apply another topcoat to the entire nail.
    My polishes last about 10 days if I do those

  5. Ooh I'm gonna buy that Orly Bonder! Thanks for the tip.

  6. I have used Bonder for a few years now, it's my favorite! I've never tried this technique before though but it makes total sense...I will give it a go next time. Been wearing Butter London and it has chipped so badly on me ! Upsetting since it's so pricey :/

  7. I just realized why my new manicurist's manicures don't last on me. My other one used Orly Bonder. The new one doesn't. Unfortunately my other tech moved to another state and this one is stubborn. Might be time to move to a new nail tech. When I do them myself though I'll use your technique.


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