How to Make Your Gel Manicure Last for a Full Month

Gel manicures are meant to last, right? So why is it that you can barely get yours past the two-week mark before they start to lift up at the corners (and taunt you mercilessly)? Here's how to keep them going strong for longer so you don't "accidentally" end up peeling them off before your next appointment.

1. Have the Manicurist Push Back Your Cuticles Beforehand

Even the tiniest overlap of paint on your cuticles can cause the color to lift off faster.

2. Apply Cuticle Oil Daily

Keys, phone, wallet, cuticle oil—your new mantra. Keep some nearby and apply it daily. (We like Jurlique.) Dry hands are the leading cause of manicure raggedness.

3. Be Gentle with Your Nails

Even though you think your nails are chip-free, microscopic damage can escalate. Avoid tearing open packages or scraping things off of surfaces. (We’re looking at you, extra-sticky labels.) Grab your scissors to do the job instead.

4. Minimize Exposure to Hot Water

And that goes extra for doing the dishes. Hot water can seep into your nail plates and eventually cause polish to lift and peel. Don't touch a sponge without wearing rubber gloves.

5. File Down Your Tips

Yep, you can still do this with gel nails. In fact, doing so can refresh any dullness or wear that commonly happens at the edges. File as needed and swipe on a new layer of topcoat afterward to seal in shine.

6. Do a Reverse French

If you’ve made it to the home stretch, you’re probably seeing a sliver of grow-out happening at the base of your nails. Cover up the exposed area by sweeping on another polish in a contrasting shade (or with some festive glitter). It will help to camouflage the sitch until you can make it back to the salon.

6 Tips for Keeping Your Nails Healthy with Gel Manicures