8 Ways You're Wrecking Your Mani

Brides Live Wedding, Hair & Beauty
Wedding Manicure Tips

Photo: Montrose Images

A smooth, shiny manicure is the perfect complement to your wedding dress. To ensure your polished nails look pristine on your big day and last well through the honeymoon, Tracylee, beauty expert and brand ambassador for Brides Live Wedding sponsor Sally Hansen, is revealing how to make the most of your mani. Below, she breaks down the the ten cardinal nail sins brides should avoid.

1. You're too antsy to dry your nails.
There's no way around sitting through the full six-minute cycle (for most at-home machines), or a solid ten minutes before resuming activity if you want fully-hardened nails. If you find yourself constantly chipping your nails right after you do them, you're probably cutting your drying time too short. To remedy this, apply quick-dry drops, like Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Dry and Go Drops, over your top coat.

2. You can't resist checking your phone.
"The number one reason clients ruin their nails during and after they do their nails is by reaching for and using their cell phone," Tracylee says. And we don't just mean texting: Scrolling through your Twitter feed, Instagramming your nail art before it's dry, and even letting your hair brush against your nails as you take a phone call are major no-no's.

See More: Six New Twists on the Classic French Manicure

3. You're too lotion-happy.
Even if you dry your hands after applying oil or lotion, residue left behind can make it harder for polish to adhere to your nails. Tracylee suggests wiping your nails with rubbing alcohol before you polish to make sure they're perfectly dry.

4. You apply two thick coats instead of three thinner ones.
Get ready to rethink everything you thought you knew about manicures: For a smudge-free, chip-free manicure, two coats just won't cut it. Tracylee's formula for foolproof application: "Use three thin coats of polish, swiping the polish at the very edge to seal the entire nail."

See More: Can You Tell Your Bridesmaids How to Paint Their Nails?

5. You wash dishes sans rubber gloves.
Don't let your dish soap fool you. Even if the bottle promises smooth, soft hands, harsh chemicals are seriously hard on your nails. Wash your hands carefully, and wear gloves every time you come into contact with chemicals.

6. You ignore your cuticles.
Cuticle care won't keep your polish from chipping, Tracylee says, but it's the best way to keep those pesky hangnails at bay. Lather up with a moisturizing hand cream whenever you can, and apply cuticle oil to your nail beds before bed. We love Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil.

7. You skip the top coat.
There's no better way to shelter your nails from the elements than with a heavy-duty top coat. Try Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Fast Dry Top Coat. It helps strengthen brittle nails as it seals in polish.

8. You let your hands prune up in the bath or shower.
Think of your manicure like that one perm you got back in junior high — water is its enemy. "Nails are like sponges," Tracylee says. "They expand when wet, then contract as they dry, which leads to chipping and peeling."

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