Having a manicure can make you feel complete; it can finish an outfit and give you something to admire all day long. Gels are even better because they last longer and don’t chip or smudge within 30 seconds of leaving the salon! Following the recommended aftercare will help to make the most of your well-deserved mani-pedi.
Avoid heat such as a bath, shower, sauna, or steam room for at least an hour after your treatment.
Heat or humidity straight after a gel application can cause the bond of the varnish to loosen from your nail bed. This will then cause the polish to lift at the sides and ultimately ruin your freshly applied manicure.
Wear gloves when washing up or cleaning.
This is particularly important for the first few hours after your manicure. Water can manipulate the varnish and cause bubbling or lifting at the sides. The chemicals in cleaning products can also dry out your skin. Hobbies may also give your manicure a bit of a beating. If you’re a keen gardener, wear gloves to protect your manicure from chipping.
Don’t file your nails while wearing gels.
This will break the seal of the gel at the nail tip and can lead to chipping or breaking. If your nail does catch or you find a split at the edges. Gently file in one direction with a smooth motion. The varnish may end up peeling in that area, but you can always call your therapist for a quick repair.
Use the right products for removal
Gels should only be removed in salon or using an at-home removal kit that you can buy from your therapist. If using the kit, carefully follow your therapist’s advice and the instructions included to avoid damaging the natural nail. It can be tempting to pick and peel the gels away once they start to lift (usually after two weeks) but try and avoid doing this! When you peel gels off, it takes the top layer of the nail away too, leaving the nail weakened. Our nails have multiple layers (like our skin) so this isn’t painful, but it will inevitably damage your nails if not removed correctly.
Use cuticle oil
Every night massage the cuticle area with a cuticle oil such as Jessica’s Phenomen Oil for intensive moisture. You can do this with gels on. It will keep your cuticles hydrated and healthy, leading to a longer lasting manicure and improved cuticles. Phenomen Oil is great for dry patches of skin such as your elbows or knuckles. Don’t forget your toes too! You only need a small amount for each digit so the bottle will last you a while.
Keep the skin around your nails moisturised. This helps prevent hang nails and protects your skin from drying out. Who doesn’t love beautifully soft and silky skin?
Pre-book your next appointment
If you’re worried that you’re going to start picking when your gels are on their way out, make sure your next appointment is in the diary. Let your therapist know you need a gel removal and reapplication, so they have plenty of time allocated for your appointment. Remember: picking is what damages your nails, not gels.
Photo by Valeria Boltneva
If you treat your nails like jewels not tools, then your manicure will last up to two-three weeks. If gels aren’t your thing but you really want to pamper your hands, why not try a luxury manicure with standard varnish? The heated mittens make it a real treat!