Beauty

How To Make Your Gel Manicure Last Longer Than Your Two-Week Situationship

With expert tips for before, during and after your appointment.

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My life changed when I had my first Gel-X nail set done in 2021. I grew up in the early ’00s where I begged my mother to let me get an acrylic full set for my 13th birthday. I’d inhale the fumes without questioning why the tech was wearing a mask, all while watching them drill my nail beds to actual dust. Nail art and enhancement options have advanced quickly in a short amount of time. Enter Gel-X sets boasting fewer harsh chemicals, less application time, better nail health and the perfect canvas for endless design possibilities that easily soak off at the end. Gel-X nails are soft gel tips that come perfectly shaped in a variety of styles and lengths, requiring only a UV light and builder gel to give you a perfect manicure every time that lasts three to four weeks.

Jazmin Gresham of NAILCON, a Black woman led platform for nail inspo and news, offers some advice on finding the best nail artist for you: “When choosing the right nail artist, you must always pay attention to cleanliness, sanitation and sterilization of their work station, products and tools.”

So, here are a few tips on how to maintain your manicure and while you’re here, check out Starface’s PFW debut.

Before the Appt

First things first: The longevity of your set depends on the tech’s experience, so vetting the artist’s reviews and past work is crucial. If you’re going to invest in complex nail art and Gel-C manicures, be willing to pay for value that will last.
Be realistic: Understand the shape and length that is best for your lifestyle. With lengths from small to 3XL, be mindful that longer lengths last a shorter amount of time. Confirm that a dehydrator and builder gel is applied if you are rough with your hands, have weaker nails and to prevent damage.
Stay trimmed: While Gel-X may protect your nail growth, letting your natural nails get too long can lead to a world of pain when you inevitably jam your fingers, so keep natural nails trimmed short if possible.
Immediately after your appointment: Your nails are most vulnerable the first day or so after your appointment because the gel takes 24 hours to fully cure. So, be cautious and demand the princess treatment you deserve by refusing to open cans, lift luggage or participate in manual labor of any kind.

Making Your Gels Last Longer Than Your Two-Week Situationship

Stay cautious: Act like you’re a ’50s housewife and religiously wear gloves to do dishes (even just a couple), garden or handle acidic liquids like lime juice.
Gel hates hot water: Enjoy the hot tub, bath and pool without submerging your hands the entire time.
Your nails are not a tool: Use anything other than your nails to get that can open and remember that no matter how long. Gel-X nails are much less likely to lift around the edges than acrylic, but you should still avoid picking.
Stay hydrated: Use cuticle oil frequently to keep your natural nails strong.

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Tess Melody Taylor
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