Posted by Ana on Aug 13th 2013

Prevent Polish Chipping  Prevent Polish Chipping The Fab 5 Polish WrapHow to Prevent Polish Chipping

We are all looking for ways to have our polish last longer.

For me, it started with a Google search in 2010, "How Do I Keep My Polish from Chipping in the Shower?"

The solution came several months later after I had done over 200 hours of exhaustive research. I didn't find the answer, but I did find the pieces of information necessary to create the answer.

The quick answer is that nails absorb 3 times their weight in water. When water is absorbed through the underside of your nail, it breaks the polish-to-nail bond. The long answer is here:  "How Do I Keep My Polish from Chipping in the Shower?"

I created the Fab 5 Polish Wrap to help prevent my nails from absorbing water.

Does it stop my nails from absorbing water if I'm doing dishes without gloves for 30 minutes? NO!!!

But it does stop my nails from absorbing water in a 15 minute luxurious shower! And as a Mom to 4 active children and an entrepreneur, that's all I need!

The result, is that I can easily wear my nail polish for 7 to 10 days without any chipping! And when I've spent a few hours creating gorgeous nail art—I want it to stick around!

The Fab 5 Wrap Overview

    1. Two Base Coat Wraps: Apply 2 coats of ridge filling base coat, wrapping completely to the underside of exposed nail tip. Any polish that gets on your skin will wash or peel off.
    2. Two Color Coat: Keep an orange wood stick available to wipe polish off of skin before it dries.
    3. One Top Coat Wrap: Apply 1 coat of your favorite quick dry top coat, wrapping completely to the underside of exposed nail tip.
    4. Clean Smudges: Dip a small makeup brush or art brush in acetone to clean up polish on skin and create a clean line near your eponychium ("cuticle" line).
    5. Rinse and Oil: Rinse acetone off—Apply your favorite nail oil to skin and nail polish. Prevent Polish Chipping The Fab 5 Polish Wrap

The Fab 5 Wrap Details

    1. Clean Nails: Wipe your nails with rubbing alcohol and a lint free pad as your first step. If your nails are long enough, use a Q-Tip brand cotton swab with rubbing alcohol to clean the underside of the nail. This removes the surface oils and dirt from your nails.
    2. Basecoat Wrap: Use a good base coat, wrapping it around to the underside of your nail (not just capping your tips).
      Base coat is formulated to bond to the NAIL surface.
      Color nail polish is formulated to bond with base coat—not nails.
    3. Color Coats: Apply 2 coats of colored nail polish.
    4. Topcoat Wrap: Completely wrap your nails with topcoat all the way to the underside.
      A good topcoat is also formulated to bond ONLY to nail lacquer (polish and base coat) and add a high gloss shine.
    5. Clean up your polish along the eponychium ("cuticle" line) using acetone and a makeup or artist brush.
      * This creates a smooth, flush line with your nail. Excessive polish around your cuticle line also contributes to chipped nails.
      * Here's the article I wrote explaining why acetone is the best choice for removing polish.
    6. Rehydrate your cuticle lines and surrounding skin with a high quality, penetrating nail and cuticle oil.
    7. Apply a new layer of topcoat daily or every-other day, wrapping it around your tips. Apply nail oil two times per day or more.
TIP: The ingredients that make a good topcoat bond to nail polish and have an incredible shine make it a horrible base coat! Steer away from any product labeled as basecoat AND topcoat. It will do neither one well. ~Ana

Polish Removal

After 7 days, remove your polish with acetone. Acetone is actually less drying to your nails than non-acetone because it dissolves the polish quicker.

Before removing the polish, wipe a generous layer of olive oil (or any cheap kitchen oil) around your cuticle lines and skin to help prevent the dryness acetone causes. I slather oil up to my first knuckle.* Use Q-Tip brand cotton swabs to remove the polish on the underside of your nails. I've tried cheaper brands and they're just not as effective, perhaps because they've wound the cotton around the stick tighter than Q-Tip does.

Nail Oil Mini-Hydration Cycle

  1. Rinse your hands in warm water for 30 to 45 seconds. * Since healthy nails have a perfect blend of 18% moisture and 5% oil, I added this step to my routine because it helps my nails feel "less tight" and dried out from the acetone. I skip this step if I'm going to immediately re-polish my nails. 
  2. Apply a high quality, penetrating nail oil to your nails about once an hour for the next 4 to 8 hours. * In my experience, some of the water is trapped in the nails and the rest evaporates. My nails feel much more "in balance" than if I skip the warm water rinse and go straight to oiling my nails. 

Start over with a fresh Fab 5 Polish Wrap Manicure and enjoy!