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/ Source: TODAY
By Embry Roberts

Ever wonder why a salon manicure can hang on for weeks, but your DIY version looks like it's been through a woodchipper after 48 hours? These three quick tips can help your home manicure look more professional — and last a whole lot longer.

Check out TODAY's A-Z nail "GIF"-tionary for more at-home nail art ideas.

L is for ... Longevity

1. Get preppy.

Before you apply your base coat, be sure to prep the nail by cleaning it with 99 percent alcohol. This will remove any oil, allowing the polish to fully bond with the nail surface.

2. Keep it cute(-icle).

Yes, pushing back your cuticles is a pain (sometimes quite literally painful). But, yes, it really does make a difference. Doing so exposes more of your nail "canvas," allowing you to extend the color all the way to the edges. Once your cuticles shrink back, you won't have any gaps or unevenness and new nail growth won't show as quickly along the bottom.

RELATED: Make your manicure last! Try this messy Brazilian nail polish trick

3. Cover your base(s).

When it comes to protecting your manicure, you may think of top coat as king, but the base coat really is just as important. It helps to protect nails from staining, which keeps them strong and healthy — key for longevity! — and creates a smooth, snag-free surface for the color. No lumps, no bumps, no muss, no fuss, no sad chipped manicure after a single day's wear.