So you want to know: how long does a gel manicure last? Ask your girlfriends in your group chat, and they’ll likely say different things.
Though you may have been wearing gel manicures regularly for the last few months or so, you probably don’t know exactly how long the gel would last.
So, is it two, three, or four weeks? Is there a standard duration after which the gel manicure should be removed? If you keep it longer, would it end up damaging your nails, making them brittle and fragile?
Let’s find out!
How Long Does a Gel Manicure Last?
There are a few things you need to consider to answer this question.
Who Has Done Your Nails?
The first thing you have to consider is the person who has done the gel manicure for you. Was it a professional nail technician or yourself? In other words, did you go to a salon or did you do it at home? You should expect a gel manicure done by an expert with years of experience to last longer.
What Was the Product?
Was it a gel in a bottle or a gel in a pot? A brush-on bottle gel is usually thinner compared to a potted gel. So, it is much more suitable for natural nails and not for long artificial-length nails. The thinner gel in a bottle would last up to 14 days, but the thicker gel in a pot would last slightly longer.
What Was the Condition of Your Nails?
Were they strong and healthy or bendy and weak? If your nails were weak, brittle, or bendy, a gel manicure would probably last a short time.
So, How Long Can Your Gel Manicure Last?
After considering the aforementioned factors, the longest your gel manicure can last without compromising the health of your nails is 2 weeks.
Your manicure might probably look fine after 14 days. But you will still be running the risk of compromising the health of your nails. The gel usually cures whenever it is exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light. The longer you wear the gel, the more it cures. This would make it more difficult to remove.
Not to mention that if your nails were weak and bendy before the application, then the gel might seriously compromise the health of your nails.
How Can I Make My Gel Manicure Last Longer?
Here are a few things you can do to prolong your gel manicure without affecting the health of your nails:
There is no doubt that creams and oils are good for your skin and nails, but not before applying gel polish. If you apply them, you will end up with a surface that is not possible to prep for applying gel polish.
To create a good adhesion that will last longer without damaging your nails, you always need your nails to be dry and clean.
You should consider applying cuticle oil only after a gel manicure. Also, some cuticle removers may contain ingredients that may cause peeling or lifting when they are not properly removed from the surface before gel application.
Remove the Cuticle Properly
If the cuticle is not properly removed it could interfere with the adhesion between your nails and the gel. It is tricky sometimes because the cuticle is transparent and you may not be able to see it spreading on the nail plate.
Although the cuticle is a non-living tissue, it will certainly cause the lifting of your gel mani. Unlike the nail plate, the cuticle tends to absorb water or moisture like a sponge when you are washing dishes or taking a shower. The water or moisture under the nail polish will cause peeling.
Make Sure the Free Edge Is Filed Properly
This is something that a nail technician will always remember to do. So must you when doing your gel mani at home. All oils normally stay on the free edge. Therefore, filing them is absolutely necessary. You also need to clean the surface underneath the free edge. You will find dirt and contaminants underneath.
Not Too Close to the Skin
Avoid applying the base color or top coat too close to the skin. Even one small drop can cause the gel to lift from that particular area because the nail will not be sealed anymore. As you already know, the gel will not adhere to your skin. It can only adhere to your nail plates. So, you should clean any gel sticking on your skin with an orangewood stick before curing.
Fix Any Cracks on the Nail
You first need to fix any cracks on your nails before getting or doing a gel manicure. If you apply a gel on a cracked surface, you will end up with a crack in the same area. There are several ways you can fix a crack on your nails. You can use acrylic, fiber, or silk to fix a crack.
Don’t Mix Brands
It is a big mistake to mix brands of gel polishes, especially the base coat and topcoat color when doing a gel mani at home. Gel brands normally formulate the base coat, the color, and the topcoat to work perfectly together. This is so because some base coats may be soft while others may be hard, depending on the brand.
If you want to try gel manicure, but the process seems too complex for you, then head over to the salon. Here’s how much this manicure usually costs.
You needed this information because you cannot tell for sure how long a gel manicure lasts.
Your gel mani should effectively last 2 weeks without affecting the health of your nails. But it could last longer if you do a few things right before application like proper skincare, removing cuticles correctly, filing the free edges, fixing cracks, avoiding application of the product on the skin, and avoiding mixing of brands.
You should also be gentle with your freshly gel polished nails. Even the slightest peel or chip could get bigger and damage the manicure. So, don’t use your fingers to scrape sticky labels or tear open packages.
It isn’t really difficult to do a gel manicure at home as long as you can properly prep your nails for gel polish application. But it is always best to have a gel mani done by a nail technician.
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