How Long Do Gel Nails Last? Plus Tips to Preserve Your Manicure
Jul. 27, 2020
Gel manicures last for two to three weeks depending on the quality of the application and aftercare. Discover how to keep your manicure flawless for longer.
Gel polish is the superhero of nail polishes: resistant to chips, flakes, and dulling.
Still, it isn’t invulnerable—and you may found yours looking rough well before the two to three weeks are up. We discuss how to get the most of your gel manicure and keep your nails on-point.
What Is a Gel Manicure?
Let’s cover the basics before we talk about techniques. How is gel polish different from regular polish?
Well, your standard polish is the cosmetic equivalent of paint. The gel variety cures under light to create a solid finish.
Unfortunately, you can’t mimic the same effect with an extra layer or two of topcoat. Gel polish has a unique chemical composition that makes it quick-drying and durable.
It bonds to your nails—which is why picking at it the same way you would your usual varnish is unwise.
How to Make a Gel Manicure Last Longer: 9 Simple Hacks
Whether you’re a regular at your local mani-pedi place or have your own equipment at home, we can help. Here’s how to make gel polish last longer:1. Preparation is Everything
Manicures are like building a house—you need a strong foundation. Brittle, damaged, or otherwise weakened nails aren’t an ideal base.
Invest in a nail strengthener such as OPI Envy Nail Strengthener to toughen them up.
2. Correct Application Matters
Look out for warning signs that the application isn’t going smoothly, like an uneven surface or bubbles. If you notice this happening during your manicure, don’t ignore it.
3. UV Light is Essential
Yes, we know—staring off into space with your fingers drying under UV light is excruciatingly boring.
However, sneaking out early will cost you your gel manicure lifespan. The light is what triggers the reaction that bonds the polish to your nails, so be patient.
4. Get a Guarantee
Consider trying out a new nail salon if yours doesn’t offer a guarantee. Seriously—some businesses will fix flaws in your manicure within a set period of time, free of charge!
5. Don’t Pick or Peel
You can’t complain about how long gel nails last if you’re self-sabotaging. Plus, as we touched on earlier, you’re weakening your nails if you pick at them.
Instead, use a nail file to buff out the damage. If there’s a strip of polish lifting off, trim it and follow up with buffing.
6. Protect with Products
An extra layer of top coat can’t hurt—consider a high-gloss option such as OPI Top Coat.
You can also moisturize your gels with nail oil to prevent dryness and cracking. Consider a product like Bee Naturals Cuticle and Nail Oil.
bee naturalsCuticle and Nail Oil
7. Avoid Super-Hot Showers and Baths
If you prefer your showers or baths sauna-steamy, we have some bad news. Hot water could be the culprit behind your short-lasting gel nails.
You can still enjoy your long soaks in the bath, but keep your hands out of the water!
8. Hide Growth with Glitter
Fast-growing nails are both a blessing and a curse. If you’re tired of seeing unsightly growth after a week or two, wield glitter polish to conceal it.
Be warned that glitter can be as difficult to remove as gel polish. Sally Hansen Mega Strength Here to Stay Wild Card should work with most colors.
Sally HansenMega Strength Nail Color
9. Get Gloves On when Cleaning
Unless you’re living the jet-set lifestyle, you probably have to clean stuff around your house at least every so often.
Treat yourself to a stylish pair of rubber gloves. You won’t get that gross tacky feeling of rubber sticking to your nails.
We’ll Miss You!
To our cherie fam who has inspired us deeply over the last year and a half: thank you. We are so grateful to have been a part of your beauty journeys and the community you created with us was nothing short of amazing. It's with sadness that we announce that cherie will be closing our doors on April 8, 2021, and your posts will no longer be available. While our platform will no longer be available, we encourage our community members to continue finding ways to create and allow their authentic voices to be heard.
Clear skin the gentle way?
Thank you @cheriefor this amazing gift 🤩 “buh-koo-chee-all” HERBIVORE - Bakuchiol Anti-Aging Serum I’ve already become a diehard Herbivore lover. So to receive this beauty was super exciting. When I started my acne journey on Cherie I was (and still am) a Differin Acne Gel stan. This was my choice of retinol and I wanted it strong to treat acne and boost my cellular turnover. Now that my acne is currently under control and it’s getting hot again, I definitely want something smooth and gentle. Bakuchiol is a gentler alternative to the very popular ingredient retinol. So essentially you’ll get overall youthful results for your skin. I haven’t tested this on my acne theory yet, but overall my face has been smooth and irritation free. This serum does not have a smell which I love for products of this caliber. I also love that it’s light and not drying at all. I use this at night and since i have a tolerance to retinol I use it every night. I haven’t been using it long enough to see results (about 12 weeks) but I definitely can’t wait to finish this. Have you tried Bakuchiol?
Wednesday Wellness 🙏🏾
This past week has been rather hard and long for me. I ultimately decided to get back on track with my wellness plan. My main wellness goal for 2021, is to indulge in myself more. I definitely am a firm believe in “as within, so without”. I started my day with: #Four Sigmatic - Mushroom Elixir Mix with Chaga[products]#[FiveStars] I have been getting back into adaptogen and herbal medicine. What we put into our bodies is just as important as what goes on the outside. Adaptogens are apart of ancient medicinal traditions traced all over the world. I also drink Tulsi “Holy Basil” Tea. If you need a pick me up or emotional boost I highly recommend! SUNDAY RILEY - U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil is my treatment of choice I used during the day. Do not be afraid to use salicylic acid during the day. I applied plenty of sunscreen afterwards as well! This is a GODSEND for clearing up acne and acne scarring. It’s by far the best acne treatment I’ve tried and its mostly due to the immediate results I get. This is a dry oil, so it should be used before a heavy moisturizer or sunscreen. THE BODY SHOP - Spa of the World Thai Makrut Lime Firming Oil is a staple in my night time routine. When I want to relax and really unwind I use a body roller with this oil. It smells like a fresh key lime pie and it’s so hydrating. This is great for firming, especially when paired with a body tool. What do you do for wellness?
Black Owned Makeup Look
So I decided to use the products I pictured in my first photo (minus my highlight shade and lipstick) I used the #Ace Beaute - Nostalgia Palette[products]#[FiveStars] for my entire eye look. I definitely enjoyed these products. My only advice is to shake the UOMA BEAUTY - Say What?! Foundation before use (because it can come out watery) but the coverage is absolutely flawless. I was shocked with the consistency the coverage I got. What’s your favorite black owned brands? (I do not own right to the song)
Skin Barrier Skin Savior 🙏🏾
Thank you @cheriefor this amazing gift 🤩🤩 Something thing I am very particular about is my moisturizer. My skin barrier tends need the extra TLC and the best thing to give it is moisture. So when I look for a moisturizer I need something that gives me instant hydration and doesn’t clog my pores. So when I received the : BASE BUTTER - Radiate Face Jelly Aloe Vera Gel Face Moisturizer I was so excited! The Brand : ✨Black Owned ✨Women Owned ✨Cruelty Free ✨Non-Comedogenic ✨Vegan ✨Paraben Free 🔑 Ingredients : ✨Aloe Vera Juice ✨Shea Butter ✨Evening Primrose Oil Okay, as you can see your girl woke up DULL! The only thing I did for this video was wash my face and use this to show y’all the transformation! I was using this EVERY night but last night I used my acne treatment routine and your girl FELT THAT (salicylic acid can be so drying to my combo skin). What’s my favorite part? This baby doesn’t have a smell or heavy greasy feel, so it perfect year round! At $21 this is a DEAL ! (The line I used on my cheek covered the entire bottom portion of my face!) Have you tried this brand?
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