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How can I protect my nails against frequent hand washing?

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The question: In my line of work, I tend to wash my hands up to 10 times a day, which is hell on my manicure. Are there any new polishes or finishes that can stand up to that kind of abuse?

The answer: For an at-home mani, I'd suggest OPI Chip Skip Nail Lacquer Chip Preventor. It's a pre-base coat that dries very quickly, acts as a strong foundation when applied to bare nails and helps prevent chipping of your polish.

If you head into a salon, you won't regret getting an Axxium soak-off gel lacquer. It's by OPI as well, which means there's a wide range of colours to choose from. The lacquer is cured under a UV light and can last up to three weeks without chipping. I was incredibly skeptical until I tried it myself and all I can say is, 'Wow!' Another perk with gel lacquer is that there's no drying time. As soon as your last coat of polish is applied and sealed under the UV light, your nails are bone dry.

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Bahar Niramwalla is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty specialist on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV. Have a beauty question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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