Recently I was introduced to the newest manicure trend - a "no chip" manicure (also known as shellac). This kind is twice the cost of a traditional mani, which, admittedly, means it's not cheap.
But - it's also fantastic. I got one two weeks ago today, and it's still nearly perfect. I have one (small) chip in one nail, but otherwise it looks just as fresh as the day I got it. (Some of that is definitely helped by the fact that it's a French no-chip manicure - so regrowth is camouflaged). For twice the cost, you get more than twice the benefits. I would highly recommend it for someone wanting nice nails for 2 consecutive weeks or weekends (which is why it was perfect for my wedding - I had amazing nails through my honeymoon and beyond). Tip: request that your nails are filed slightly shorter than you would normally want them. The only thing that's bothering me about my two-week-old shellac manicure is that my nails are getting long. They are definitely file-able, but in order to keep the French manicure looking crisp, I'm trying to avoid it.