NOT chip your nail polish!
#1: Make sure nails are super clean! Natural oils on your nails aid in chipping. Even if your nails are polish-free, apply polish remover to get rid of oils on the surface of nails.
#2: Prep nails with a base coat. Polish will adhere best to nails prepped with a base.
#3: Don't lay on the polish too thick. A couple thin coats of polish rather than 2 thick coats will last longer, cut down on drying time and cause fewer chances of bubbles brewing on your nails.
#4: Don't forget the tip of your nail! When polishing, polish the tip of the nail as well.
#5: Consider a shimmery color. The little particles of sparkle will help polish cling to your nails.
#6: Apply a clear topcoat. Topcoat helps extend the life of your manicure. Maybe consider a 2-in-1 Base/Top Coat.
#7: Allow proper drying time! Make sure you give your nails a good 45 minutes drying time before handling objects. Once dry time is over, submerge (not soak) nails in cold water then apply lotion. This allows for a slippery surface until nails are completely dry. For pedicures, wrap toes in plastic wrap if you're wearing shoes other than flip-flops or sandals.
#8: Keep topcoat handy! To prolong the life of your manicure, apply a topcoat every few days for a better shine and protection.