How to Protect Your Gel Mani From the Elements According to a Paintbox Artist

By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal

There’s nothing better than a treat-yo-self gel manicure, and there’s nothing worse than getting your precious polish damaged after application. Whether you’ve noticed that your gel polish has changed color, slightly chipped or worse, cracked, it’s vital to know that there are at-home remedies that will save your mani. We chatted with Paintbox Chief Educator Evelyn Lim about these mani-feats, and here’s what we learned.

It’s True — Your Gel Mani Might Turn Colors

If you notice your just-painted white gel mani has changed color, don’t panic. The good news is it’s nowhere near dangerous, but the bad news is that a chemical reaction is occuring. “This happens because gel polish is porous; therefore, it is semi permeable, which is why chemicals and dyes can effect and stain the (gel) polish,” Lim says. That means keeping your nails away from dyes and stains is vital — and that means, yep, you need to keep your nails away from makeup, which is the number one thing that causes your gel color to morph.

You Can Maintain Your Mani At Home

The best way to make your gel polish last is by applying cuticle oil,” says Lim. Not only will it keep your cuticles and nails healthy, it will nurture a long lasting mani (of any kind!). “If your polish cracks, you can apply a coat of a similar color in regular polish,” Lim notes. But if it’s a truly deep tear, some DIY-ing will come in handy. “You can temporarily mend it with a tea bag and glue,” says Lim. “Simply cut a piece — apply it over the crack, and saturate with glue. Once it’s fully dried you may file and buff lightly to smooth out and apply a coat of color and top coat!”

When all else fails, Lim suggests the only true way to really protect your mani is to cover those babies up. “Avoid chemicals and moisture by wearing gloves!” she says. If you love your manicure that much, it will seriously keep all the outside elements at bay.

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