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Score a perfect 10 on fingers and toes -- and preserve the freshly painted look -- with these strategies.
1. After showering, use a scrub on hands and pumice on feet to slough roughness and smooth calluses. Push back cuticles and file nails until even, then clean the surface of each with polish remover. "Dirt and oil prevent color from sticking," says Alisha Rimando of Dashing Diva nail salon in Port Washington, New York.
2. Instead of speed-painting the base, color, and top coats, wait three minutes between each. "It takes four glopped-on layers more time to dry, increasing the chance of smudges," Rimando says.
3. Take the polish over the edge of your nail (where chips start) to add days to your paint job.
See a pro if...
You can't risk nicks or imperfections -- or you just need a little TLC (like a hand massage).