7 Hacks For Making A Gel Manicure Last

by Lindsey Rose Black

Gel manicures seem to be the magical answer to all chipped manicure woes, but sadly, they can still show signs of wear and tear eventually. Luckily, these essential hacks for making a gel manicure last ensure you'll get the most out of your gels. While you can't stop your nails from growing out and potentially chipping, you do get to control how much effort you put into upkeep.

Read more: 20 Glitter Nail Designs To Copy For An Eye-Catching Mani

In case you're unfamiliar with the world of gel manicures, WiseGeek broke down the details. The site explained, "Gel nails, unlike standard acrylic nails, contain additional short chain monomers, known as oligomers, that makes the nails more flexible ... They are thin and flexible, with a glossy appearance." What makes them last for upwards of two weeks to a month is that "light cured gel nails are hardened by placing your fingers under an ultra-violet light for approximately two minutes."

If the exposure to UV rays has you (understandably) nervous, look for salons that use LED lamps instead of straight UV lamps to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful rays. And definitely prep yourself with the other crucial gel manicure safety guidelines!

Once you're rocking a gorgeous gel manicure, follow the hacks below to make them last as long as possible.

1. Avoid Too-Hot Water

As good as a steamy shower or long bath feels, Byrdie shared that hot water can occasionally "cause the polish to lift up." Yikes.

2. Add Additional Top Coat

Dior Gel Top Coat, $27, Sephora

A Beautiful Mess advised popping on a top coat like Dior Gel Top Coat to extend the life of gel your manicure.

3. Scribble Over Chips

Gel Ink Pens, $9, Amazon

If you need to hide chips or cracks, Buzzfeed recommended reaching for gel pens to create beautiful DIY designs. Heck, you might even like the scribbled over version of your manicure better!

4. Push Back Your Cuticles

Marula Cuticle Oil, $17, Ciate

Before you even go to the salon, Cosmopolitan suggested pushing back your cuticles to ensure you don't accidentally put gel on them. Remember to use cuticle oil so you don't damage your fingers!

5. Apply Nail Oil

L'Occitane Shea Nail And Cuticle Oil, $20, Amazon

Another great Cosmopolitan tip: apply nail oil regularly to keep the gels hydrated and avoid chipping and cracking.

6. Wear Rubber Gloves When Cleaning

Casabella Latex Free Heavy Duty Rubber Gloves, $13, Amazon

The chemicals in certain cleaning products can weaken your gels, warned Women's Health beauty editor, Jill Percia. Always wear protective gloves if you'll be giving your home a serious scrub down.

7. Add Reverse Ombre Glitter Tips

Guild, $18, JINSoon

You can hide the growth with this genius reverse ombre hack from Lauren at ThinkingCloset. Just swipe a few coats of glitter polish over your exposed nail tips.

Images: Jeffry Dougherty Jr, Ashley MacKinnon MacKinnon/Flickr; Courtesy of Brands