My nails didn’t use to hold polish well. When cleared of polish they’re really smooth and glossy-looking without any effort. What I did was got a kind of buffing block and used the softest side to very lightly rough up the surface of the nail, like you would a piece of furniture before applying paint or stain.
Here is a great video on how to get the perfect manicure. If your nails are naturally smooth, add the step of roughing them up with a buffing block.
On my right hand, the nails themselves are a little more prone to breakage and chipping but less so since I’ve started using cuticle oil. Keep it with you and oil up regularly. This bundle called, Plastiks, includes everything you need to help your manicure last including top coat, base coat, cuticle oil as well as a matte top coat. But you can also purchase them individually.
Another thing that can really help is minimizing the time your hands spend in water. When your hands absorb the water from dishes or a long bath, the polish is prone to lift and chip there as well. So get yourself a pair of super cute dish gloves and try to not soak your nails.
Taking the proper steps for the perfect manicure takes a little longer but makes your manicure last much longer and it certainly takes less time than going to a salon and getting beaten up by a nail tech. I literally bled every time I went no matter how many times I asked they be gentle. Here's another blog about the effects of gels and acrylics if interested.
I hope some of this helps. -Cassi