How to Make Your Wedding-Day Manicure Last (Through the Honeymoon!)

Hair & Beauty
Make your wedding day manicure last

Photo: Sandra Freij

When you're lifting a glass of champpagne or showing off your gorgeous new wedding band, the last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is a chipped nail. To get tips on how to make your wedding-day manicure last, we asked celebrity nail guru Deborah Lippmann for her top tips.

Brides: Okay, spill: Why does a professional manicure always last longer than when we DIY? What's the secret to making lacquer last longer?

Deborah Lippmann: Make sure your cuticles are pushed back and nails are buffed, clean and dry before starting with your base coat. I also suggest using my 2 Second Nail Primer, $14. It's a deep cleanser that will lengthen the wear of your manicure by a day or so. As for polishing, I have base and top coats that are fast drying and give the high-gloss finish you'd expect from a gel manicure with the same extended wear. The application and removal processes are hassle- and damage-free.

See more: 11 Things To Avoid The Week Before Your Wedding

Brides: What if you chip a nail on your wedding day?

DL: Bring your color with you! If you have someone who's applying your makeup, ask that person to fix it. (If you're nervous and upset, doing it yourself might make things worse.) If you have to do it yourself, dab a bit of polish remover on the pad of your fingertip and smooth the ridge where the chip is. Patience is key with this—if you don't allow it to dry, it might look worse. Then take your color and lightly dab it into the chip. Allow it to dry and resist the temptation to smooth it over the nail. This typically does the trick, but if you need additional coverage, add a second layer of polish over the nail. Sometimes less is more when trying to fix your nails. After patting with nail polish remover, add a layer of top coat to see if it fixes the problem.

Brides: Any other major wedding-day manicure don'ts?

DL: Don't wait until the day of your wedding to choose your nail color. Think like a celebrity stylist and plan your nail color with your makeup. You do a makeup test, so why wouldn't you test something as important as your nail color? If you're planning on spray tanning for your wedding, get a test tan and then do a trial run of nail color—it looks different when you have color.

Brides: Since our busy brides can't always take a trip to the salon, how can they get a Deborah Lippmann-approved wedding-day manicure at home?

DL: Use my five steps: cleanse, shape, exfoliate, treat, and finish. First, saturate a piece of cotton with nail polish remover, hold on the nail for five seconds, and gently pull forward and off the tip of the nail. Then, file from each outside edge toward the center of the nail. Run across the entire nail in one direction—never saw back and forth on the tip of the nail. Remember to look at your hands from every angle. For stronger and healthier nails, you need to exfoliate them, similar to your facial skin. Try using my Smooth Operator Buffer File, $12, and buff nails using fabrics one, two, and three. (Only use fabric four when you aren't finishing with nail lacquer. It gives nails a high gloss and the polish won't adhere.)
See more: Expert Tips for Healthy and Gorgeous Wedding-Day Nails

After, apply cuticle remover liberally and gently push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher. Go around the area several times to get a clean cuticle and wipe clean with a piece of cotton. Carefully nip any remaining pieces of skin—these are hangnails and the only pieces of skin you should nip. Apply a tiny amount of cuticle oil to the base of all nails. (You only need to touch the brush lightly to the base of the nail.) Massage it into the cuticle and apply hand cream with an SPF, and then a nail primer and wipe dry. Follow with a base coat and nail polish. Finish by gingerly brushing the nail polish across the tip of the nail. Allow polish to dry for a minute or two between coats—it will dry faster, adhere better and last longer

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