Professionally polished and manicured nails make me feel so fancy—I love the look! I hate the cost of getting my nails maintained, though. And every week—really? That’s just too much for my budget to handle. Usually, I give myself manicures at home and save the $30 expense. However, I do still like a good manicure done by a professional every now and then. So when I do go in for a professional job, I do everything I can to make sure my manicure lasts as long as possible. By following a few tips I learned long ago, I’m able to keep my nails looking pretty longer.

1. Push instead of cut

Make sure your nail technician is gently pushing your cuticles instead of cutting them. Cut cuticles mean dried, cracked cuticles that cause you to go back to the salon sooner than you’d like.

2. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

These are the days when salons see the least amount of customers. Most salons will offer special deals during these days but may not advertise them. Be sure to ask your technician whether there are any specials during these days.

3. Get gel

Although it’s more expensive, getting gel is the best insurance for lasting manicures. Whenever I get gel polish, my manicures will last for about 14 days and even on day 14, my polish still shines as it did on day one.

4. Use cuticle oil

Cuticle oil moisturizes better than any hand cream, so invest in it and use it daily in-between visits to prevent cracked cuticles.

5. Glitter is gold

For your nails, at least. Using glittery, pearlized polishes will make your manicure last longer. Finishes with glitter tend to prevent chips more than matte finishes.

6. Polish remover first

Some nail technicians seem to forget this step. Applying an acetone foundation (like polish remover) before a base coat allows polish to adhere better than without. The acetone cleans your naked nail, removing oils and debris.

6 Tips to Keep Your Manicured Nails Pretty Longer