The Indestructible Mom Mani

So by now you should not be surprised about my love for nail polish. I have tons of it. I hear a lot of women, especially moms say they don’t have time or choose not to paint their nails because their manicures never last. I normally paint my nails at least twice a week. I rarely get them professionally done, because I don’t have the money to waste. But something as simple as taking the time to paint my nails makes me feel good.

Through trial and error I have discovered some tried and true tricks for making your manicure last longer. As the holidays approach, do something to pep yourself up. Something just as simple as a shiny red nail will do just that. You’ll be surprised at how soothing it is to look at shiny nails typing on a keyboard. It’s just me? Oh…..

1.) Get your supplies. Nail file, clipper, cuticle stick and cuticle softener.  Most of my supplies I get from Dollar Tree and every now and then you can find good brands of polish in there for a $1. I use the nail file that has the different surfaces for filing and sanding off the rough edges. For my raggedy cuticles I use E.L.F. cuticle pen. It’s a $1 and works miracles. You can even stick it in your purse. You can find it at Target, or online.

2.)Get yourself a good base coat. I love Orly bonder. It smells like rubber cement and it is a little pricey at $10. But a bottle will last you a looooooooong time. You can find this at Sally’s, Ulta etc.

3.) No matter what people say, I have found that the cheap cost effective nail polish brands work just as well if you take your time. I have a mash up of brands. However, one of my favorites is the NYC In a New York Color Minute brand. They sell it at Walmart at around $1.79 a bottle. It dries fast (great for moms) and comes in a ton of shades.

4.) It is very important to put on 1 to 2 very  thin layers to prevent cracking and chipping. Here is a tutorial I found on Pinterest that I used to learn to polish my nails neatly.

Source: via Corie on Pinterest

5. You need a good top coat. All of the polish blogs I read swear by Seche Vite. I have never tried it. It’s expensive. I use Sally Hansen Clear Acrylic Top Coat. It sells at all your drugstores. Do 1 thin layer, let dry. Then do another thin layer just on  your nail tip and then another thin layer that runs the entire length of the nail ( hope that made sense). Basically you will do 2 1/2 layers…got it? Please make sure its thin, otherwise you will find little bubbles.

6.) Smudged? No problem. I learned this trick from one of the besties Kelli. Lick your finger, and gently rub it over the smudged area until it blends in. Once dry, add a very thin layer of topcoat.

7.) If possible sit still for 30 min. to allow everything to dry well. If you are in a hurry after 5 minutes dip fingers in a bowl of cold water to set…but still be a little careful.

8.) Get you a good pair of rubber gloves for cleaning and doing dishes, and reapply a thin topcoat every other day or so.

9.) Have fun. Try different combinations. Paint nails different colors. Express yourself!

*NO, I was not compensated for this post. Since I have to post everyday and I was painting my nails I thought this would be some good info to pass along…Now go forth and paint your nails*

Do you paint your nails often. Have any additional tips you want to add? What is your favorite nail color right now?

About the author
Mom, wife and friend. I moonlight as a cooker, baker, laundry folder and organizer. I like to think I do it in style. Unlikely Martha is my contribution to the internet in helping women "Keep House and Stay Fly!"


  1. I definitely needed this post! Great information. I really like nail polish. But until about 6 months ago I was working actively in health care and wasn’t allowed to wear polish while working so I rarely put it on. Now that I am…ahem…. on a little hiatus, I am trying to rekindle my love for nail polish. This certainly will help do that! Thanks.
    Optimistic Mom recently posted..Live in the present not the past

  2. Yep. I’m definitely one of those moms who doesn’t have time to go and get her nails done or to even do them. However, I’d prefer the plain, natural look so I just keep them as is.
    Carla recently posted..Busy Bee.

  3. If I could stop biting my nails and massacring my cuticles by washing my hands so much st work, I would really be into this. I love polish! But stick to the toes. I could use this advice on my pedicure…..

  4. Thanks for the tips. I used to love painting my nails in different funky colors when I wore acrylic nails. It seemed like the color stayed on the falsies longer. Once I stopped wearing the falsies, I found that the nail polish on my real nails would only last a couple of days or so, so I stopped wearing color altogether. Sometimes I use the UV gel color, but that can get expensive. I will definitely try your tips because I would love to get back into wearing color, especially for the holidays. Thanks for the tips!
    TheProDiva recently posted..Martini Thursday!!!

  5. Mimi! This is really helpful! I love a polished nail, even if it’s just a nice shiny, glossy topcoat or a nude shade. It just helps me feel more, well, polished. LOL. As you know, I’m always in my hair or my daughter’s hair and the products seem to be hard on keep my nails fresh when I paint them. I’m going to try your tips to see if they help. Thank you! 🙂
    GG recently posted..Captured: Happy Birthday To Me!

  6. Super helpful post — especially for someone who NEVER paints her nails. I wore nail polish for a few days over the summer (for the first time since high school — about 10 years) and remember feeling a little more cute and feminine. Then they started to chip (yuck) and I was reminded why I don’t even bother. But your tips may help me try again. This time the right way. Thanks!

  7. I absolutely love polishing my nails as well as my 4 girls……I polish mine at least twice a week and theirs once a week……it’s our girl time

  8. I’m one of the moms who complains about a manicure not lasting the length of time it takes to dry. I’m going to attempt to do this for a week and maybe my mind will change. I sure hope so, I LOVE looking at all the nail polish!

  9. You’re not going to believe this, but I just started painting my nails the last two years or so. I just wasn’t into it. Now I think I’m a pro. I added owning a nail polish collection to my happiness list. Two weeks ago, I had a shellac manicure done. No chips or nicks. It’s worth a one time splurge. Right now I’m loving all shades of blue and gray polish.

    Hugs and Mocha,
    Stesha recently posted..Lacing Up For Fitness Series: Running

  10. I am a nail polish fiend! I just bought two bottles yesterday – I think I’m up to about 75 bottles – I need an intervention!

    I’m really into the “accent nail” right now. I like to bling out my ring fingers with glitter polish. I’m going to try a half moon manicure next.

    I am a Seche Vite fiend. It is pricey at about 9 bucks a bottle, but my manicures really do last a week using it. Sometimes there’s a little fading at the tips, but it’s only visible to me and I’ve learned to live with it.
    Nerd Girl recently posted..My bad…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge