At this point, it’s safe to say we’ve all heard of gel manicures. This miraculous service is perfect when you want to step up your at-home manicure and opt for something a little more durable and long-lasting. While most of us know the basics behind the benefits of the latest gel sensation, there are still some questions as to proper gel protocol. You can stop scratching your head. We’ve got the ins and outs of this professional procedure so you can show up at the salon prepared for nail perfection.

gel mani

Expect your gel mani to last about two weeks. The beauty of the gel technology is it won’t dull or chip and does not require you to re-apply top coat. However, try not to exceed the two-week mark. Although the polish typically stays pristine, you will start to see an unpolished gap form as your nails grow out, which means it’s time to get your nails done again.

Color Change:
Gel nail polish is cured and dried with the help of a UV lamp. Unfortunately, this means a trip to the salon every time you want to change the color of your gel-tastic nails. However, there’s a slight loophole here. Gel nail polish cannot be removed with regular, run-of-the-mill nail polish remover (check out the rules for proper removal below). So, if you want to do some fun nail art with your at-home polishes, go for it! The non-gel nail polish can be removed with nail polish remover without damaging or changing your gel color.

Removal Process:
Like we said before, gel nails are extremely durable and long-lasting, so a swipe of a cotton swab isn’t going to take them off. Although we strongly recommend leaving it to a professional to remove your mani, it is possible to takes gels off at home. All you need to do is wrap each nail in an acetone-soaked cotton ball and secure with strips of aluminum foil. After 10-15 minutes, the polish should break down enough to be sloughed off with a nail file. 

Proper Hand Care:
Keep your mani in check by regularly applying a hand cream and cuticle oil, like the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil. This will prevent dehydration and any dryness or flakiness and promote a long-lasting mani.


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