The hustle and bustle of the season can strain your psyche—and your manicure. “Decorating, baking, cooking, and washing dishes can chip your polish and deplete your nails of natural oils until they’re dry and brittle,” says Rachael’s nail guru, celeb manicurist Pattie Yankee. Here’s how to keep your tips intact.

Catch of the Day nails
  1. Rub in a cuticle oil daily. "It penetrates polish to keep nails flexible and healthy," says Yankee. She especially loves CND Solar Oil ($8.50).
  2. Brush on a top coat every other day. "This helps reinforce polish and strengthen the coating on your nails," she says. Try Sally Hansen Color Therapy Top Coat ($8).
  3. Make your nails stronger by washing dishes. The trick: Wear rubber gloves, but before putting them on, slather on cuticle oil and a rich hand cream, then slip on cotton gloves. "While you're doing dishes, the hot water will create a sauna-like effect within the gloves," says Yankee. "It's like giving your hands a mini facial."
nail polish illustration
Credit: Illustration by Joel Holland