The beauty of gel manicures, which seem to be more popular than ever these days, is that they last longer than the normal manicure. Using gel can ensure a few things. Your nails won’t chip or peel after only a few days like a normal manicure. Instead, you can enjoy shiny, chip free nails for up to two or three weeks.
But while this treatment can save time and money, it too can become costly if it becomes too habitual. Taking proper care of your nails and maintaining them is not only important for their health, but the best way to ensure longer amounts of time between appointments. Usually by the second week, you’ll find nails starting to peel or lift a bit.
Depending on your level of perfection, this phase can last until you get to the salon, or peel them all off at home by yourself. However, there are a few simple tips for pushing off the inevitable, and helping to make a gel manicure last longer.
1. Wear gloves when doing housework or dishes.
Water can seep into your nail beds making the gel lift and peel. If you do any housework or dishes, make sure to always wear gloves. If you don’t have any, invest in a pair. Because if you get gel manicures, they’re worth every penny.
2. Wash your hair with the bottoms of your fingers.
This may sound a little strange, but think about it. When we wash our hair, typically we’re digging our nails into our hair, a la a little personal head massage. But all that pressure (and again hot water) can get in our nails. Instead, when washing your hair, try to use the bottoms of your fingers to massage, taking the work off our nails.
3. Fill in growing gaps with same color polish.
Everyone knows how to color, so implement the same notion here. When your nails start to grow in, color in the space with a matching tone or shade. Or don’t, and add a funky color for contrast.
4. File nails down a little.
The more our nails grow out, the less effective the gel manicure becomes. In order to make a gel manicure last longer, take away some of that growth by filing down tips. It’s a detail that can make a small, but effective difference
5. Add a layer of clear polish after a week.
Once a gel manicure has truly run it’s course, there’s not much anyone can do to stop it. But as we’ve learned, there are ways to lengthen them a bit. Sometimes, adding a clear layer of shine can also help it to keep an extra few days, or even a week.
6. Be mindful of how you use your hands.
Of course, we have to use our hands every day, gel manicure or not. But there are ways to be more mindful when using them; especially when it comes to wanting to make a gel manicure last longer. For one, use letter openers, not hands and fingers to open letters and mail.
If you spend your days (and so many of us do) on a computer, be mindful of how your nails tap away at the keys and try to alleviate slamming them down. All these tiny things will help to strengthen and make your gel manicure last.
Originally published November 14, 2017