The One Beauty Product That Will Make Your DIY Manicure Last Longer

Megan Decker
·4 min read

If you've been chewing your cuticles every morning while watching the news, are predisposed to hangnails, and feel like every at-home manicure (no matter how many coats of polish you layer on) chips after one day, then you could probably use a little nail rehab.

Luckily, you don't need to make a salon appointment — especially if you're still a little uncomfortable at the thought. All you need is to invest in a good nail strengthener. "Flaky nails are best treated with keratin-boosting products," explains Kerrie, a nail technician at the UK-based beauty-on-demand service Blow LTD.

To help steer you through the sea of clear glass bottles, barely discernible from the base and top-coat polishes, we've broken down the best protein-rich formulas on the market, ahead. Scroll through to pick your favorite speed-recovery treatment, then take a deep breath before texting your mom back.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

<h3>Mischo Beauty Nail Elixir Cuticle Oil</h3><br>So, your hands and nails are chronically dry? You need a <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/best-cuticle-oil" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:cuticle oil" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">cuticle oil</a>. This one doubles as a nail strengthener to fortify your entire nail plate — a win-win.<br><br><strong>Mischo Beauty</strong> Nail Elixir Cuticle Oil, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mischobeauty.com%2Fcollections%2Fnail-lacquer-treatments%2Fproducts%2Fnail-elixir-cuticle-oil" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mischo Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mischo Beauty</a>

Mischo Beauty Nail Elixir Cuticle Oil


So, your hands and nails are chronically dry? You need a cuticle oil. This one doubles as a nail strengthener to fortify your entire nail plate — a win-win.

Mischo Beauty Nail Elixir Cuticle Oil, $, available at Mischo Beauty
<h3>Suite Eleven First Things First Base Coat</h3><br>A single layer of this clear base coat repairs peeling nails, prevents cracking, and acts as a glue to any polish you sweep on top of it.<br><br><strong>Suite Eleven</strong> First Things First Base Coat, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.suiteleven.com%2Fcollections%2Fnail-file%2Fproducts%2Ffirst-things-first" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Suite Eleven" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Suite Eleven</a>

Suite Eleven First Things First Base Coat


A single layer of this clear base coat repairs peeling nails, prevents cracking, and acts as a glue to any polish you sweep on top of it.

Suite Eleven First Things First Base Coat, $, available at Suite Eleven
<h3>Nail Tek Intensive Therapy</h3><br>If your nail beds are weak and soft, with little growth past your fingertips, this is an easy strengthening treatment to add to your next Amazon order.<br><br><strong>Nail Tek</strong> Intensive Therapy 2, $, available at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Nailtek-Intensive-Therapy-2-Treatment-Peeling/dp/B0034E702U" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>

Nail Tek Intensive Therapy


If your nail beds are weak and soft, with little growth past your fingertips, this is an easy strengthening treatment to add to your next Amazon order.

Nail Tek Intensive Therapy 2, $, available at Amazon
<h3>Onyx Professional Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream</h3><br>This viral $8 gem has racked up thousands of reviews and helps protect your delicate nails against chips, splits, and breakage.<br><br><strong>Onyx Professional</strong> Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/2uDiHDa" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>

Onyx Professional Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream


This viral $8 gem has racked up thousands of reviews and helps protect your delicate nails against chips, splits, and breakage.

Onyx Professional Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream, $, available at Amazon
<h3>JINsoon HyperRepair</h3><br>The ingredient list for nail artist's Jin Soon Choi's new base coat reads more like a fancy skin serum: A trio of <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2017/12/184773/best-acids-for-skin" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:AHAs" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">AHAs</a> refine the nail surface, while a potent cocktail of vitamins B5, C, and E helps nourish and restore nails <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/how-to-repair-nails-after-gel-manicure-damage" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:damaged by gels" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">damaged by gels</a>.<br><br><strong>JINsoon</strong> HyperRepair, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fjinsoon.com%2Fhyperrepair%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:JinSoon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">JinSoon</a>

JINsoon HyperRepair


The ingredient list for nail artist's Jin Soon Choi's new base coat reads more like a fancy skin serum: A trio of AHAs refine the nail surface, while a potent cocktail of vitamins B5, C, and E helps nourish and restore nails damaged by gels.

JINsoon HyperRepair, $, available at JinSoon
<h3>Nails Inc. Nailkale Superfood Base Coat<br></h3><br>This base coat — infused with keratin, aloe, vitamin E, and, of course, kale extract — is a $15 investment in hard, glossy nails for however long it takes you to drain the bottle. There's a reason the Sephora landing page has more than 230 glowing reviews.<br><br><strong>Nails Inc.</strong> Nailkale Superfood Base Coat, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Fnailkale-superfood-base-coat-P388616" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Nails Inc. Nailkale Superfood Base Coat


This base coat — infused with keratin, aloe, vitamin E, and, of course, kale extract — is a $15 investment in hard, glossy nails for however long it takes you to drain the bottle. There's a reason the Sephora landing page has more than 230 glowing reviews.

Nails Inc. Nailkale Superfood Base Coat, $, available at Sephora
<h3>CND RESCUERXx<br></h3><br>This professional nail treatment from CND uses the power of keratin proteins and moisturizing jojoba oil to magically lift those pesky <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317493.php" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:white speckle bruises" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">white speckle bruises</a> from your nails.<br><br><strong>CND</strong> Rescue RXx, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Frescuerxx%3FproductId%3DxlsImpprod13561073" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta Beauty</a>

CND RESCUERXx


This professional nail treatment from CND uses the power of keratin proteins and moisturizing jojoba oil to magically lift those pesky white speckle bruises from your nails.

CND Rescue RXx, $, available at Ulta Beauty
<h3>Chanel La Base Protective And Smoothing<br></h3><br>If you're loyal to Chanel's signature glossy Le Vernis polish formula, you'll want to invest in La Base — a nourishing serum that smooths and safeguards nails with a blend of vitamin E and argan oil.<br><br><strong>Chanel</strong> La Base Protective And Smoothing, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.violetgrey.com%2Fproduct%2Fla-base-protective-and-smoothing%2FCHN-158190" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Violet Grey" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Violet Grey</a>

Chanel La Base Protective And Smoothing


If you're loyal to Chanel's signature glossy Le Vernis polish formula, you'll want to invest in La Base — a nourishing serum that smooths and safeguards nails with a blend of vitamin E and argan oil.

Chanel La Base Protective And Smoothing, $, available at Violet Grey
<h3>OPI Natural Nail Strengthener<br></h3><br>If you want a strength aid that you can pick up at your local CVS, this <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/02/10317990/opi-nails-impress-press-on-manicure" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:$10 OPI" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">$10 OPI</a> clear polish will help you grow your nails long and strong in just a few weeks. Simply paint a single layer on clean, dry nails weekly — maybe while you're binging <em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2021/02/10323728/what-did-georgia-do-ginny-and-georgia-episode-10-ending" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ginny & Georgia" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ginny & Georgia</a></em>.<br><br><strong>OPI</strong> Natural Nail Strengthener, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fnatural-nail-strengthener%3FproductId%3DxlsImpprod5180293%26sku%3D6051191%26cmpid%3DPS_Non%21google%21Product_Listing_Ads%26cagpspn%3Dpla%26CATCI%3Dpla-443250394705%26CAAGID%3D38680672265%26CAWELAID%3D1888492522%26CATARGETID%3D330000200001409923%26cadevice%3Dc%26gclid%3DEAIaIQobChMIs5Xz54ys3wIVWEwNCh0teAfMEAQYCyABEgKbVfD_BwE" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta Beauty</a>

OPI Natural Nail Strengthener


If you want a strength aid that you can pick up at your local CVS, this $10 OPI clear polish will help you grow your nails long and strong in just a few weeks. Simply paint a single layer on clean, dry nails weekly — maybe while you're binging Ginny & Georgia.

OPI Natural Nail Strengthener, $, available at Ulta Beauty
<h3>Dior Nail Glow Nail Enhancer<br></h3><br>Think of this sheer pink Dior polish like a <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/01/185962/dior-addict-lip-glow-balm-review" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lip Glow" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Lip Glow</a> for your fingernails. Brush a light coat on bare nails, and watch as your pinks go pinker and whites go whiter for a your-nails-but-better effect.<br><br><strong>Dior</strong> Nail Glow Nail Enhancer, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fshop.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2Fdior-nail-glow-nail-enhancer%2F3478311" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Nordstrom" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Nordstrom</a>

Dior Nail Glow Nail Enhancer


Think of this sheer pink Dior polish like a Lip Glow for your fingernails. Brush a light coat on bare nails, and watch as your pinks go pinker and whites go whiter for a your-nails-but-better effect.

Dior Nail Glow Nail Enhancer, $, available at Nordstrom
<h3>Orly Bonder<br></h3><br>If you're looking to give your nails a detox following a long string of <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/acrylic-nail-designs" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:acrylic manicures" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">acrylic manicures</a>, this Orly Bonder acts as an invisible first coat of protection, strengthening brittle nails while extending the lifespan of your at-home manis.<br><br><strong>Orly</strong> Bonder, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fbonder%3FproductId%3DxlsImpprod5260125" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta Beauty</a>

Orly Bonder


If you're looking to give your nails a detox following a long string of acrylic manicures, this Orly Bonder acts as an invisible first coat of protection, strengthening brittle nails while extending the lifespan of your at-home manis.

Orly Bonder, $, available at Ulta Beauty

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