Beauty Q&A: How Can I Make My Gel Manicure Last Longer?

January 20, 2022
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
Easy Hacks For Making A Gel Manicure Last
Gel manicures have some serious benefits, thanks to their shine, durability and, most importantly, longevity. While most gel manis can last up to ten days, we know some people who can make them last even longer. We tapped Evelyn Lim, chief educator at NYC-based nail salon Paintbox, for her insight on making gel manicures last as long as humanly possible. Prepare to have your mind blown and your manicure stay put.

How Do I Keep My Gel Manicure From Chipping?

According to Lim, making your gel mani last is all about proper maintenance of your nails even before you hit the salon. "Never peel off your gels, as gentle removal is key," she says, "and make sure to opt for a shape and length that works best for your natural nail and lifestyle." Certain nail shapes, such as square or coffin, are more prone to breakage than others — rounded shapes are your safest bet. 

Does Cuticle Oil Make Gel Nails Last Longer?

The better you take care of your natural nails before your gel manicure, the longer it will stay. Use a cuticle oil like the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil twice a day to keep your nail bed hydrated, strong and flexible. 

Essie Apricot Nail and Cuticle Oil

What to Do if Your Gel Manicure Chips

When you get a crack or lift in your gel manicure, it’s almost instinctual to reach for a top coat to attempt to cure it back in its place. This is the number-one thing not to do, says Lim. “While applying top coat over gel will not damage the nail, it may trap bacteria if not thoroughly prepped and cleansed before application,” she explains. 


If you do run into an issue with your gel polish (whether it's cracked or lifting), it’s best to go back to your nail technician, so it can be completely removed then reapplied. “If you only have a snag or a small chip on the edge, try smoothing it out with a file, so it doesn't catch on anything,” says Lim. Otherwise, leave it alone until you’re ready to head back to your salon.



Photo: Jonet Williamson, Design: Juliana Campisi

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