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If you just completed a perfect nail polish application, waited for it to dry and then jumped in the shower only to have your polish peel off, join the crowd. There are several reasons your beautiful nail polish application chips and peels in the shower, including skipping the base or top coats and applying nail polish to unclean nails. The most common cause of peeling nail polish is applying too many layers of color. Each layer of polish adheres to the previous layer, creating one thick nail polish coat. When dampened with warm water from the shower, this thick layer of nail polish softens, causing chips and peels.
Use a nail file to roughen up your nails. Do not go overboard; you need some nail left to paint. Just gently go over each nail a few times to create a rough surface for the nail base polish to adhere to.
Use a wet toilette or an alcohol soaked cotton ball to ensure your nails are clean. Things like dust from filing, lotion or soap residue can create a layer on your nails that will prohibit any type of nail polish from adhering properly.
Apply one layer of a clear base coat. This is similar to a top coat but instead is applied before the polish to create an even base for your chosen nail polish. This base coat will also stop colored polish from dying your nails a yellow or orange color. Red-, pink- and orange-based nail polish colors are heavily pigmented and will tint your natural nails. Allow the base coat to completely dry.
Apply one coat of your chosen nail polish color, and allow to dry for at least 10 minutes. Repeat. The more layers of nail polish you add, the thicker it settles on your nails and therefore is more prone to peeling. Although some colors may require more coats for a truly vibrant color, any more than two will increase the chances of peeling, especially when submerged in warm water.
Apply a strengthening top coat layer. This will prevent any chipping or peeling while sealing in the color to give your nails a beautiful shine. Allow the top coat to dry for 10 to 15 minutes.