master the manisa
We reached out to Sally Hansen nail ambassador Tracylee for her fave foolproof tips for achieving a flawless mani at home. And now, she’s ready to help you! Read along as Tracylee responds to a few of our readers’ most pressing polish problems.

Do you have a chip-proof polish solution?
Wipe the nails with rubbing alcohol prior to polishing to remove any oil, lotion or debris. Nail polish remover typically has conditioning agents in it, so it’s best to use alcohol. Always “cap” the free edge of the nail with all coats of polish, including base and top coats, by swiping the brush across the very tip of the nail. This will seal all layers of polish around the tip of the nail, where it is prone to chipping. Apply top coat every other day. Applying every day will make it too thick and vulnerable to chipping.

My polish always feels like it’s dry, then inevitably I end up with smudges. Any expert advice for judging when polish is dry?
Typically nail polish takes a couple hours to dry. I like to polish my nails about 30-60 minutes before I go to sleep. I swipe the nails with cuticle oil prior to falling asleep to keep from getting sheet marks on the nails.

What should I soak my hands in to soften my cuticles pre-polish?
I prefer to do waterless services as our nails are like sponges and absorb double their size in water! When that water eventually evaporates, it takes with it valuable nutrients from the nails. I would recommend using a great cuticle softener like Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover. This product softens up the dead cuticle skin from the nail plate to allow cuticles to be pushed back easily.

Is there any way I can revive my favorite nail polish that has gotten clumpy?
Sorry to say, but no, there isn’t a way to save it. Anything you put in the polish would break down the properties of the nail color, leaving it vulnerable to chipping and peeling.

How long should I wait between coats?
I would recommend leaving a couple of minutes of dry time in between coats of polish.

And for some trendy mani styles, check out our intern-approved DIYs!