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This past year I have had nails for the first ever time (a biter since childhood). I seem to have successfully broken the habit and no longer even absent-mindedly nibble them, so all's great in the shiny, long new nail dept!
I keep experiencing some really frustrating problems with polish. From Essie to Topshop to Chanel... so not sure if this is a question of quality, for one of the best, most durable polishes I've used to date was by Rimmel. Basically, after a few wears, many of my colours go really thick and take on an odd consistency, which makes it really difficult to apply. The Chanel were actually the worst for this, which baffles me.
Someone once suggested keeping them in fridge, but no joy there either.
Also, when I have used Essie topcoat (cost me a damn fortune) it tends to make the problems worse: peels off really easily, and can be marked, 'dented' at the slightest touch even why totally dry. I've often waited patiently for nails to dry only for the colours to chip and peel almost immediately. Am I going mad?
I think it's because air is getting into the bottle. I've heard you're supposed to wipe the neck of the bottle to stop varnish drying round the edge, which stops the bottle closing properly and allows air in, if that makes sense. If its too late for that you can buy polish thinner, which helps.
Agree that you're probably not ensuring that the bottles are tightly closed.
I got some thinner online for not much money at all - search on Amazon.
As to the dents and nicks you're getting - I think this is possibly down to either not waiting for your first coat to dry completely before doing the 2nd coat. Or you might have a "dud" top coat. DO you use a base coat as well?
A top coat will work but will temporarily soften the nail varnish underneath it if you wait until everything is dry to apply it. You should apply base, 2 thin coats of polish and topcoat pretty much one after another ie. Once you've done both hands you'll be ready to start next coat on the first hand you did.
You can try adding a drop or two of nail varnish remover instead of thinner, it's basically the same thing. Roll the bottle between your palms to mix it in, don't shake. And yes, wipe the tops of the bottles after you've attempted thinning them.