For pro manicures always...
- moisturize hands and cuticles before polishing wipe with polish remover so polish will adhere
- trim or file nails neatly
- apply a base coat
- wait a couple minutes between coats of color
- finish off with a shiny top coat
To dry your manicure instantly stick freshly polished nails into a bowl of ice water for 45 seconds, completely free and a time saver!
Pricey polish does produce some great manicures but many savvy brands can do just the same with proper technique and reliable base and top coats. Read my post on DIY manicures for more tips.