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

February 24, 2021
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
Beauty Q&A: How Can I Make My 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. To find out what they know that we don’t, 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.

It’s Actually All in the Nail Prep


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

Essie Apricot Nail and Cuticle Oil

Do Not Reach for Top Coat


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. 

When in Doubt, Go Back to Your Salon


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 than 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, but otherwise, leave it alone until you’re ready to head back to your salon.

Photo: Jonet Williamson, Design: Hannah Packer

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