A new manicure is just the thing to help you relax for a few minutes and feel like a million bucks—until a day later when you notice that your fresh coat of paint is starting to chip. You know it’s not going to last forever, but you don’t have to feel like your mani starts to disappear faster than PSY can thrust his hips. What you do before, during, and after your manicure can boost your polish’s staying power—and save money. Follow these easy steps and you’ll look like you just left the salon no matter when you actually last visited.
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A toothbrush is the ultimate secret weapon when it comes to beauty, doing everything from exfoliating lips to grooming unruly eyebrows to smoothing down baby hairs when you pull your mane back into a high ponytail. Now add making fingernails pearly white to its who-knew-you-could-do-that list. “Remove dirt and grime by brushing nails clean with an old dry toothbrush and whitening toothpaste for a refreshing feeling that whitens and brightens,” says Jenna Hipp, celebrity manicurist and OpenSky.com insider. After rinsing and thoroughly drying your hands afterward, feel free to moisturize, but be sure to swipe your nails with vodka to remove any oils that will prevent your polish from sticking. While you’re at it, switch from cuticle oil to a water-based balm to keep your cuticles moisturized and your polish in place.