I swear by a product called "Nail Envy" by OPI. It is a nail polish that is clear and super strong. According to the instructions, you are to put two coats on the first time and then one additional coat each day for a week. From experience though, after having your hands in water, etc., that many coats ends up looking pretty crappie and yellowed. I usually do the first double coat two days before class and then one coat the day before. If I need to touch up any chips I just reapply as needed. I usually only have to add more coats on my index and middle fingers as those are the ones that do the work and take the beating. If you are taking a full week of class I have about half-way though wiped my nails with polish remover which smoothes the Nail Envy and makes your nails look presentable again,. You can then add a fresh coat once the smoothed polish dries. Ever since I started using this stuff I have not had any sever problems with my nails breaking or chipping. You still might get a little chip here or there, but if you apply the Nail Envy it will keep it from getting progressively worse. Of course as a male I get funny looks when I go into the beauty supply store and ask where the nail polish is. They make a "matte" finish and it does look very natural, but as soon as you touch it is shiny, so I don't know why they even bother. I used to try to clean it all off after the class is over, but it is so tough that it takes forever to get it all off with acetone, so now, since it is clear anyway I just let it wear off.