Provided you don’t chip them, there are few things more mood-boosting than a freshly painted manicure. Glossy nails have the power to make you feel instantly pulled-together in a way that no facial or blow-dry can. It’s no surprise that salons across the country have seen an uplift in requests for gel manicures over the past few years. After all, if expertly applied, a Shellac polish can last for at least 10 days.
There is, however, the issue of removal. If, like me, you can’t help but peel off gel polish as soon as it comes away at the sides, your nails can be left dry and weak (not to mention unsightly). Fortunately, brands such as Nails Inc, Essie and Topshop have upped their game with incredible at-home gel polishes that can be removed as easily as traditional formulas.
When painting your nails at home, it’s all about the prep. “Use a hoof stick to gently push your cuticles back,” says Nails Inc manicurist Roni Dawkins-Alder. “Because, if they’re too far down your nail plate, they can cause your polish to lift.” However, while it’s fine to push them back, remember that cuticles protect your nail bed, so only trim the snagged edges. “It is essential to thoroughly remove any lotion and oil residue from your nail bed to ensure the polish bonds,” says nail artist Jin Soon Choi. Use a nail polish remover wipe to do this before applying your base coat. Jin also recommends applying an extra coat of polish along the tips of your nails, as this is where it chips first. If all else fails, opt for a glitter formula. “It lasts longer than any other polish,” says Jin. “I also recommend using it to conceal any chips as it extends the life of your manicure while appearing to be nail art.” Clever.
The best at-home gel manicures
For the best selection of shades…
For chic, grown-up sparkle this party season, look no further than Nails Inc’s Reflectors collection.
These do exactly what they promise. You’ll wonder just how you coped without them.