It’s no secret that Gel Polish has taken over as queen of nail polishes. And with good reason — Gel Polish lasts much longer than it’s classic counterpart, imparts a high-shine finish to the nails, is available in a wide variety of color options (We have 184 colors to choose from!) and there’s absolutely no drying time involved.

Gel Polish Manicures are here to stay. But with so many options available on today’s market it’s more important than ever to ensure you put yourself in the hands of a highly trained professional who cares about the health of your nails.

Today we’re breaking down the do’s and don’ts of Gel Polish Manicures, as well as offering up some tips on how to get the most out of your mani, and preserve the health of your nails while doing so.

DO Pay attention to the health of your nails!
Healthy, strong nails are the foundation of a long-lasting Gel Polish Manicure. Pay attention to the health of your nails by practicing a healthy lifestyle, using cuticle oil, taking supplements if needed, and being gentle with your natural nails. Your Esthetician can give you a little guidance in this department if you need it. The healthier your nails are, the longer your Gel Manicure will last.

DO Seek out a professional Esthetician and a reputable Spa!

  • A professional Esthetician will be highly trained in their specific nail system, as well as how to assess the health of your nails to ensure Gel Polish is the right fit for you.
  • A reputable spa will ensure that your health and safety is of the utmost importance during your visit by following proper sanatization protocols, and ensuring their Estheticians are properly trained to avoid injury.

DO Remove your polish safely and gently!
Removal of your gel polish should be done gently to avoid damage to the sensitive outer layers of your nail. Your Esthetician can do this for you to ensure it is done safely and with the integrity of your nails in mind. If you prefer to remove your own polish make sure that you have the right supplies on hand (we sell our OPI Gel Remover is small bottles for take home use) and be patient! Do not aggressively buff your nails as this will weaken them and your next application may not last as long.
OPI Expert Touch Laquer Remover, 30ml, $4.00 at Sunshrine

DON’T Pick, peel or chip away at your polish!
Lifting or chipping of your Gel Polish is common in the later stages of your Manicure, past the two week mark. Avoid the urge to pick or peel the polish from your nails as this will damage them. Gel polish has it’s best results when it’s applied to healthy nails; peeling the polish away can have a serious impact on how long your next few Gel Manicures will last.

DON’T Use your nails as tools!
While stronger than traditional nail polish, gel is still delicate and needs to be treated with care for long-lasting results. Avoid using your nails as tools. Common activities that can damage your Manicure include opening pop cans with your nails (rather than the pad of your finger), scraping off price stickers and gardening or washing dishes without gloves. Treat your Manicure with care and it will look better, longer.

DO Pay attention to the chemicals you’re coming into contact with!
While stronger than classic nail polish Shellac should still be treated with extreme care. Pay close attention to the chemicals that your hands are coming into contact with. Common culprits include cleaning supplies, chlorine (or bleach!), bug sprays or sunless tanning lotions. These chemicals can discolor the polish or weaken the enamel causing premature lifting or cracking. Wear gloves when cleaning or applying sunless tanners and be sure to dry your nails immediately after getting out of the pool.

DO Use cuticle oil!
Cuticle oil is a MUST have for any Gel Polish wearer. Cuticle oil will penetrate through the polish to nourish the nail bed and keep your nails healthy and in great condition while you’re wearing gel polish. For best results apply twice daily.
CND Solar Oil, 3.7mL, $4.00 at Sunshrine

DO Take a break every once in a while! 
Your Esthetician should advise you to take a short break from Gel Polish every once in a while to allow time for your nails to get stronger and healthier before starting with Gel Manicures again. When your polish doesn’t seem to be lasting as long as it once did for you, that’s a good sign that it’s time to take a break. Nail strengtheners and treatment polish systems are great to use during this break as they will speed up the healing of your nails and allow you to hop back on the gel polish train ASAP!
Naked Manicure Treatment Polish System, $24.00 at Sunshrine

The key to a long-lasting Gel Polish Manicure? Give yourself a little TLC and you’ll enjoy high-shine results for weeks to come!

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